The government said on Tuesday that eight Asiatic lions at an Indian zoo have contracted the coronavirus, adding that there was no evidence that animals could transmit the disease to humans.
On March 24, the zoo authorities in the southern state of Hyderabad shared samples with a government research laboratory following the lions showed signs of respiratory discomfort.
The test results come amid a huge surge in coronavirus infections among humans in India.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said, “Based on experience with zoo animals elsewhere in the world that have experienced SARS-COV2 positive last year, there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit the disease to humans any further.”
It said in a statement that the Nehru Zoological Park has now been closed.
India has reached more than 300,000 daily COVID-19 infections for 13 straight days and has now recorded 20 million cases of the disease, the second-highest number in the world after the United States.