Amid the spike in Covid-19 cases, the Assam forest department has ordered the closure of all the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of the state for tourists until further notice.
The Assam forest department’s order comes after the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued an advisory to the states asking to shut all national parks and sanctuaries in the country with immediate effect due to the alarming spread of COVID-19 cases.
The ministry in its order had mentioned that there have been reports of some lions dying due to the virus, due to which the ministry feels that the virus also poses a major threat to animals living in these spaces.
“Pursuant to the ‘advisory’ issued by the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change, Wildlife Division, and in view of the spread of COV1D-19 in Assam., and possibilities of spread of the virus amongst animals in the PAs and also the transmission of the virus from human to animal and vice versa, all the National Parks and Sanctuaries of the state are notified closed to visitors with immediate effect until further order,” the order issued by M K Yadava, Chief Wildlife Warden, read.
National parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the country were closed for visitors during the pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020 as well. The decision had a huge impact on the wildlife tourism ecosystem of the country.