Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 27 (ANI): A female pangolin, which was rescued from a COVID-19 quarantine centre in Odisha's Athagarh area by forest department officials, will be tested for coronavirus.
Speaking to ANI Sasmita Lenka, District Forest Officer (DFO), Athagarh said: "As the pangolin was rescued from a quarantine centre in the area, we have decided to send its swab for COVID-19 test. The test will be conducted with the help of the Centre for Wildlife Health (CWH) at OUAT Bhubaneswar."
"Before releasing the pangolin, we will do its complete health check-up in order to ensure that the animal is fit to be released in the wild," she added.
Dr Niranajn Sahoo, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine OUAT Bhubaneswar, said the swab of pangolin will be sent to a lab where human tests are being conducted.
"As CWH doesn't have the facility for this test and we also do not have authorised permit from the government to conduct a COVID-19 test, the swab of the Pangolin will be sent to the laboratory in Bhubaneswar where the tests on people are being conducted," he said.
As per Sasmita, an investigation also being conducted to know that how the pangolin reached the quarantine centre.
Listed as endangered, using pangolins for commercial purposes is an unlawful act under the Wildlife Protection Act. Earlier, when the COVID-19 infection had started spreading in Wuhan, China there had been claims that pangolins, just like bats, could be a host for the infection. (ANI)