One of the most discussed topic in international media yesterday (6 April) was the shocking reporting of Nadia, a Malayan tiger positive of Covid-19 in New York. This news has raised concerns and worries amongst various parties for obvious reasons.
In response to this, Zoo Negara Malaysia has taken a few protective measures to prevent its primates from being infected by the Covid-19 virus.
According to The Sun Daily, zookeepers will now be required to have their temperature taken when they report for duty. Any employees who display symptoms of cough, flu or mild fever will not be allowed to work.
Zookeepers’ movements have also been limited with their working hours now being cut down to only four hours a day. The Sun Daily reported that it is believed the tiger had contracted the virus from a caretaker who had not shown any symptoms.
“In light of the case in New York, we have to be more aware and alert. Therefore, we also require zookeepers to undergo tests to ensure they are healthy and able to work,” said Dr Mat Naim Ramli, Zoo Negara’s Veterinary and Zoology Director.
Dr Mat Naim stated that there are possibilities where Covid-19 infections may happen through human to animal contact, if the caretaker is always in close contact with the animals. However, he did stress that there are no clear evidence stating that pets can spread the disease to humans or other animals, reported Berita Awani.
“At the moment we do not have any Covid-19 test kits that is specifically designed for pets in veterinary clinics. So there’s no point for pet owners to rush to the veterinarian if their cats or dogs started showing symptoms such as coughing or having flu,” explained Dr Mat Naim.
The Zoology Director urged everyone to take extra care of their personal hygiene and he reminded pet owners to always wash their during the before and after interactions with their pets.
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