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Thailand Hunts For Crowned Bats For Covid-19 Testing

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Thailand Hunts For Crowned Bats For Covid-19 Testing | Samui Times
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The Thai Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources told the media that its officials have ordered its officers to search for crowned bats to check if they carry the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2).

“Since Thursday night, we entered a cave in Khao Soi Dao wildlife sanctuary, in the eastern province of Chanthaburi and have captured up to 100 crowned bats,” said Pattharaphol Manee-on, the head of Wildlife Health Management under the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Ministry.

Thailand Hunts For Crowned Bats For Covid-19 Testing | News by Samui Times

(Photo: Bangkok Post)

Pattharapol said that in Thailand there are about 23 crowned bat species and the bats were first captured for research.

He said also that Thailand has never captured any of the 23 crowned bat species found in Thai caves before.

In cooperation with the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Pattharapol said that his department tests 100 crowned bats blood, saliva and excrement from the centre’s lab.

Thailand Hunts For Crowned Bats For Covid-19 Testing | News by Samui Times

(Photo: Bangkok Post)

“Out of protective measures, government leaders have suggested that we test our own indigenous crowned bats to ensure they don’t carry SARS-CoV-2,” said Pattharapol, who is also the head of the wildlife veterinarian division.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was found in Thailand, National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department officials have taken the opportunity to travel to cluster communities residing in bat caves and educated them about how they can coexist with bats safely and about the risk of being infected when they eat bat meat.

 

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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