If you plan to travel to an Indian national park or wildlife sanctuary to escape the second wave of this pandemic, you have to shelve your plan. There’s some bad news coming in. Especially for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers across the country. But also for the ones working in the nature areas. They are closing down wildlife parks in India due to Covid-19.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government (MoEFCC), decided to shut all national parks and sanctuaries in the country. This will be with immediate effect due to the alarming spread of COVID-19 cases. The order also mentions that there have been reports of some lions dying due to the virus. This is also why the ministry feels that the virus also poses a major threat to animals.
The states and union territories have been ordered to close all national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas to tourists. This is in order to prevent transmission of the deadly virus from humans to animals and vice-versa. The Chief Wild Life Wardens of all states and union territories have been advised on containment and management of COVID-19. They have been asked to reduce human-wildlife interface. Which is closing down wildlife parks. This was done by an order signed by Rakesh Kumar Jagenia, Deputy Inspector General of Forest (Wildlife).
“There are reports of transmission from both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers (human beings) of the disease and COVID-19 affected persons may or may not exhibit symptoms, field functionaries must be COVID-19 negative when they are deputed for duty and should follow COVID appropriate behavior such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper screening, regular sanitization etc,” the order mentions.