Wednesday , 12 August 2020
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Man-Animal Transmission Of COVID-19

Four-year-old Nadia cannot blame her caretaker for infecting her with the dangerous COVID-19.   She is not taught to play blame games, especially with her own custodian.  When the attendant of the Bronx Zoo in New York nurtured the “big cat”, he too could not have anticipated anything because nothing is predictable these days.  But “Nadia the tigress” developed dry cough and weakness only to be diagnosed to suffer from COVID-19.     This was the first documentation of an animal being infected by a human being in the so-called man-animal transmission.     Also, transmission from animal to man, too, is not recorded though the first cases at China’s Wuhan was said to be transmitted to human beings by wild animals.   The tiger has shown symptoms similar to that of humans afflicted by the virus.   There are unproven wild and pet animal to man transmission much to the relief of the latter.  However, since another tiger and  four lions at the  Bronx zoo have shown COVID-19 symptoms, researchers are studying whether the big cats are the most vulnerable of all animals to the virus.   It goes without saying that animals require fool proof  social distancing, and top-class hygiene, to be free from the disease.   Zoos are closed for visitors but  animal-care  necessitates  constant  monitoring and maintenance.   By the same token, care of personnel looking after the animals cannot be sidetracked.   Sometimes maintaining a minimum  social distance of six feet between a zoo-attendant and an animal is a daunting task.   Big animals like elephants may feel neglected at a distance.    Personal  protection equipment for zoo workers, appointment of veterinarians on an expeditious basis,  full-fledged veterinary laboratory testing facilities,  watch on abnormal animal behaviour, putting in place zoo task-force in all zoos and national parks to take stock of exigencies are crucial.

GANAPATHI  BHAT, AKOLA

KTC Bus Service For Government Staff

State government decided  to start its KTC services of shuttle service and local buses on various routes of Goa for Govermnet staff only. However The government is not clear as to  who are government staff or employees. On the first day of service there was chaos at bus stand as many bank employees and Insurance (Public sector staff) were denied of service. On the bus it is mentioned board printed Govt Staff Essential services. And it is not clear who come under essential services.  Therefore it is important to clarify as to who Government employees can avail the service and who cannot. Based on the clarification all bank employees and Insurance staff who come under Ministry of Finance can  decide upon whether to start from home for duty on own vehicle or rely upon state run KTC buses. Since its just two days request goes to state as to clarify who can travel   and who cannot.

Raju Ramamurthy, Vasco

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