After cats, now a dead rat found near the isolation ward arranged for COVID-19 patients in the Kasaragod General Hospital was taken for postmortem and internal organs have been harvested for further testing to detect the presence of the novel Coronavirus.
Earlier this week, five dead cats, found near the isolation ward on various days were tested for COVID-19. The postmortem of three cats was carried out at the district lab of the Animal Husbandry department in Kanhangad and their organs were harvested.
“We decided to take no chance and carry out postmortem to detect and ensure that the virus has not transferred to the animals,” said Dr. Tito Joseph, Animal Disease Control Project Co-ordinator, who carried out the postmortem of the rat.
The rat had injuries, bite marks and the neck was broken. The possibilities are that it would have been killed within 24 hours. However, the samples of the internal organs have been kept at the district lab for further testing, he said.
Dr. Joseph said though the earlier plan was to send the organs of cats to the lab in Thiruvananthapuram and, if required, to National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease Lab in Bhopal, now they have requested to conduct the test at the COVID lab in the Central University of Kerala in the district to immediately ascertain any possibilities of the virus.
The matter has been discussed with the District Medical Officer and a decision in this regard would be taken soon, he added.