Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Central Zoo Authority on Friday directed all zoos in the country to screen visitors for Coronavirus and maintain sanitation measures at entry and exit gates.

In a health advisory for zoos, the CZA has also asked the staff to use masks, especially while dealing with the public, and to wash their hands regularly.

Social distancing must be maintained at ticket windows and entry gates, it said.

Also Read: Indian Railways takes comprehensive measures for prevention of coronavirus infection

"Zoological parks in the country witness a high number of visitors and in this regard, it is requested that precautionary measures must be taken to prevent further transmission of the novel coronavirus disease.

"Essential screening and proper sanitation measures should be maintained at the entry and exit gates of zoos," the advisory read.

The CZA, a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change monitoring all zoos in the country, also said that zoo employees may be exempted from marking biometric attendance till March 31.

"The consolidated travel advisory for novel coronavirus dated March 11, issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, may be adhered to while screening foreigners visiting the zoos," it said.

The authority also asked the zoos to display the advisory and posters promoting safe habits to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Read More: Coronavirus outbreak: Govt calls for invoking provisions of Epidemic Act

Though animal-to-human transmission of coronavirus has still not been reported, suitable sanitary and hygiene standards must be adhered to in animal feed stores and slaughterhouses, it said.

Regular cleaning and disinfection of common areas must be increased during this period of heightened concern, the CZA said.

At present, the number of novel coronavirus cases in India stands at 81, which include 16 Italians and one Canadian, according to Health Ministry officials.