Lions in Chennai Zoo infected with Delta variant of COVID-19 | Daily News

Lions in Chennai Zoo infected with Delta variant of COVID-19

At least four lions at a zoo in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu were found infected with Delta variant of COVID-19, officials said Saturday.

The lions are housed at Vandalur Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.

"Nine lions housed at Vandalur Arignar Anna Zoological Park here tested positive for COVID-19 on June 3. Genome sequencing of the samples of four of these lions was then done by Indian Council of Agricultural Research - National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (ICAR-NIHSAD) and as per the result reports of genome sequencing done at NIHSAD, Bhopal, all four samples were infected with the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant of COVID-19," an official said.

"The lions are being treated symptomatically in the best possible way."

On Wednesday a 12-year-old male lion housed in the Lion Safari area of the same park died due to COVID-19. Prior to this on June 3, a nine-year-old lioness also died of the disease.

The local government of Tamil Nadu on Friday constituted a state-level task force to provide support and guidance to authorities on the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 infection in wild and captive animals in tiger reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests.

"The task force shall have a close watch on disease surveillance, mapping and monitoring system, vaccination and other important associated departments and publish periodic reports," an official statement said. (Xinhua)


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