''We had received 12 samples from the Delhi zoo on Thursday. All the samples have tested negative for infection,'' Dr K P Singh, Joint Director, IVRI said. Zoo Director Ramesh Pandey said samples of some animals, including a lion, were collected as a precautionary measure and sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI). ''Nothing adverse has been informed or reported so far. Detail reports are awaited,” he said. All protocols are being followed as per the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority, Pandey said.
Sanitisation drills at the zoo have been going on since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year.
''After COVID-19 phase, the zoo went through avian influenza sanitisation drills and now all protocols are being followed for SARS-COV-2,'' he said.
The CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology had on Tuesday said that eight Asiatic lions in the Hyderabad zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.
It had said these animals must have got infected through the zoo-keeping staff.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had said that the infected animals were behaving normally.
In view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country, the ministry had recently issued an advisory to close all zoological parks, national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries for visitors till further orders to control the spread of the pandemic.
India has four designated COVID-19 testing centres for captive animals, and IVRI is one of them.
According to reports published earlier, lions and tigers had tested positive for COVID-19 in zoos in Barcelona (Spain) and Bronx in the US.