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Coronavirus: 8 Asiatic Lions at Hyderabad Zoo Test Positive for Covid-19

First Such Case Reported from India

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HYDERABAD-    Eight  Asiatic Lions at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus ( Covid-19 ). This is the  first incident of animals contracting Coronavirus in India.

RT-PCR tests of the infected animals were conducted by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, examined the nasal and throat samples(oropharyngeal swab) of the big cats. Zoo officials raised an alarm last week when they saw the pack of Lions wheezing with dry cough, nasal discharge and loss of appetite

The chain of transmission could have been through an asymptomatic human carrier since at least 20 zookeepers or caretakers working at the Nehru Zoological Park tested positive in the last few weeks, said Zoo authorities.

For now, the infected animals have been completely isolated and zookeepers taking care of them have been asked to wear protective gears and masks. The Nehru Zoological Park has been shut for public as a precautionary measure. Other animals in the zoo are also on a close watch.

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