8 Asiatic Lions at Hyderabad Zoo Test Positive for Covid-19, First Such Case Reported from India

​In what might be confirmed as first incident of animals contracting Coronavirus in India, eight Asiatic Lions on the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad have examined constructive for the novel Coronavirus.

RT-PCR checks of the contaminated animals had been carried out by the Centre for Mobile and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, examined the nasal and throat samples(oropharyngeal swab) of the massive cats. Zoo officers raised an alarm final week after they noticed the pack of Lions wheezing with dry cough, nasal discharge and lack of urge for food


Talking to Information18, CCMB director Dr Rakesh Mishra says the Lions have been contaminated with gentle signs brought on by A2a prototype and are in steady situation

“Genome sequencing has revealed that the animals haven’t been contaminated with UK variant or the much more lethal Indian variant B.1.617″, Dr Mishra stated, including that the chain of transmission may have been via an asymptomatic human provider since not less than 20 zookeepers or caretakers working on the Nehru Zoological Park examined constructive in the previous few weeks

For now, the contaminated animals have been utterly remoted and zookeepers caring for them have been requested to put on protecting gears and masks. The Nehru Zoological Park has been shut for public as a precautionary measure. Different animals within the zoo are additionally on a detailed watch

“We have now suggested the zookeepers to hold on routine checks and disinfect the meals given to the animals. Conducting routine checks on wild animals received’t be doable, so we’re creating diagnostic checks which can study faecal discharge of the animals to check the viral load,” Dr Mishra added


The potential of animals contracting Covid-19 first got here to mild when a four-year-old feminine tiger ‘Nadia’ & six others examined constructive at Bronx Zoo in New York Metropolis in April final yr. The animals received contaminated after getting uncovered to an asymptomatic zookeeper.

There have additionally been remoted cases of pets getting coronavirus elsewhere on the planet, however specialists have careworn that there is no such thing as a proof of them spreading the illness

“Zoo animals are liable to Covid-19 as a result of they reside in closed areas and now that the virus is airborne, the transmissibility fee is kind of excessive,” stated Belinda Wright, Govt Director of Wildlife Safety of India.

It’s believed that Covid-19 is a zoonotic illness, which means it got here to people from animals, however there is no such thing as a clear proof of animals enjoying any important position in spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus that’s prevalent in people now, however totally different research have proven that people can transit the virus to animals upon shut contact.

United States’ high public well being physique, the Centre for Illness Management and Prevention additionally confirmed cats, canine, mink, lions and a number of other different mammals are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 virus, however the threat of animals spreading Covid-19 to folks is taken into account to be low

Again residence the Union ministry of Atmosphere and Forest has additionally highlighted that there is no such thing as a factual proof that animals can transmit the illness to people any additional.


At present there aren’t any vaccines accessible to protect animals from Covid-19, however Russia has began mass manufacturing of what’s being referred to as the world’s first anti-covid vaccine for animals referred to as ‘Carnivac-Cov’. The primary batch of practically 20,000 doses will likely be distributed inside Russia to farm house owners as there’s a nice home demand for such vaccine.​

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