As a precautionary measure to prevent a possible spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus, the Assam State Zoo authority has decided to close the zoo for 10 days.
The divisional forest officer (DFO) of the Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden, Tejas Mariswamy, has informed that the state zoo will remain closed from March 16 to March 29, 2020.
Earlier, the Assam government ordered to close all educational institutions, both government and private, cinema halls, swimming pools, and gyms in the state till March 29 as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“All educational institutions, both government and private, cinema halls, swimming pools, and gyms have been closed in Assam till March 29 as a precautionary measure to check community transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” said chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna on Sunday.
The Kaziranga Wildlife Society (KWS) also urged the Assam government to suspend all tourist entries inside the national parks, sanctuaries and the Assam State Zoo with immediate effect.
The KWS said there has been a high risk of spread of the deadly virus from the unscreened tourists to other people.
“From mahouts to drivers, guides and forest guards, people, working in these wildlife-bearing areas, have become vulnerable as the tourist season is on and there have been no check-in tourist entries,” Mubina Akhtar, secretary, KWS, said.
Akhtar also said: “From Kaziranga to Manas, Pobitora to Dibru-Saikhowa, we could still find tourists frequenting these Protected Areas (PAs).”
“Our fear has been that we have a very limited number of people engaged in protection and cannot afford them to be off duty. We, therefore, urge the government to take necessary and urgent steps,” she further said.