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Coronavirus | Curb people’s movement in national parks, Centre tells States and U.T.s after tiger tests positive in U.S.

The Union Environment Ministry issued an advisory saying it is concerned that there are possibilities of spread of the virus among animals in national parks and sanctuaries. Photo: File

The Union Environment Ministry issued an advisory saying it is concerned that there are possibilities of spread of the virus among animals in national parks and sanctuaries. Photo: File   | Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy

Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States and U.T.s have been directed to constitute a task force or a Rapid Action Force to manage the situation as quickly as possible and create a ‘round-the-clock’ reporting mechanism with a Nodal Officer for swift management of any detected cases.

The Union Environment Ministry on Monday asked all States and Union Territories to take precautionary measures to stop the spread of coronavirus from humans to animals and restrict the movement of people in various national parks and sanctuaries after a tiger at a U.S. zoo tested positive for the virus.

The Ministry issued an advisory saying it is concerned that there are possibilities of spread of the virus among animals in national parks and sanctuaries. “In view of the spread of COVID-19 in the country and a recent news report on a tiger being infected, it is felt that there are possibilities of spread of the virus amongst animals in national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves and also transmission of the virus from humans to animals and vice-versa. It is, therefore, imperative that States and U.T.s take immediate preventive measures to stop the transmission and spread of the virus from humans to animals and vice versa. Reduce the human-wildlife interface and restrict movement of people in national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves,” the letter said.

It also directed the Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States and U.T.s to constitute a task force or a Rapid Action Force with field managers, veterinary doctors and frontline staff to manage the situation as quickly as possible and create a ‘round-the-clock’ reporting mechanism with a Nodal Officer for swift management of any detected cases.

“Set up essential services for emergency treatment of animals and their safe release back to their natural habitats, as and when required. Enhance disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system through coordinated effort amongst various Departments. Maintain all other stipulations issued by the Health Ministry in the movement of staff, tourists, villagers, etc. in and around national parks, sanctuaries, tiger reserves. Take other possible steps to control the spread of the virus and report the action taken to this Ministry,” it said.

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) on Monday asked all zoos across the country to be on high alert and collect samples fortnightly in suspected cases after news of the infected tiger at the US zoo came to light.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 9:00:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-curb-peoples-movement-in-national-parks-centre-tells-states-and-uts-after-tiger-tests-positive-in-us/article31270759.ece

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