While on one side, people across the country battle COVID-19, eight Asiatic lions at the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) tested positive for coronavirus. The lions, lodged in the 380-acre zoo, are said to be recovering. The RT-PCR tests of the lions were conducted after they showed symptoms of COVID-19.
On April 29, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) told NZB officials orally that the lions tested positive. NZP Dr Siddhanand Kukrety confirmed the report and said, “The lions are doing well. “
The management advised the veterinarians to take samples after they informed the officials of the lions’ symptoms. Oropharyngeal (part of the pharynx between the soft palate and the hyoid bone) swab samples of the lions were taken and sent to the CCMB in Hyderabad.
The daily stated that CCMB scientists will now do genome sequencing to figure out if this strain came from animals or human beings. The case of lions triggered the MoEFCC to issue a detailed advisory on April 30 to chief wildlife wardens asking them to shut all national parks, sanctuaries, and tiger reserves over fears of transmission.