A nine-year-old lioness died of suspected Coronavirus infection at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur near Chennai. Nine other lions at the zoo have tested positive for SARS CoV-2. Samples collected from the animals were sent to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, which confirmed the infection. According to protocol, any suspected death due to the virus in zoos is reconfirmed by Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. Samples have been sent to these institutes for confirmation. According to zoo authorities, the CCMB will carry out genome sequencing of the virus strain to understand zoonotic transmission to prevent infection spread. All animal-keepers and helpers in the zoo have been inoculated. A separate team of animal-keepers has been engaged for each group of lions.
TN extends Covid lockdown till June 14
The Covid-19 lockdown in Tamil Nadu has been extended for another week, Chief Minister MK Stalin announced as the government announced two sets of relaxations for 11 hotspot districts and the rest of the state. The lockdown, set to end on Monday, will now be in place till June 14.
Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Tanjore, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai make up the hotspot districts where restriction will continue due to high rate of infection. The public has been advised to make purchases from the neighbourhood shops and avoid stepping out of home. They have also been asked to limit the use of personal vehicles. Housekeeping staff has been allowed back at apartments and office complexes but need an e-registration. Autos with two passengers and cabs with three are allowed as well with the required e-pass.