Nagpur: Maharajbag zoo authorities will keep the zoo closed for public from March 16 (Monday) following directions by Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Delhi, owning to increasing cases of Coronavirus across country. Dr Sonali Ghosh, Deputy Inspector General of Forests, issued a circular to the Directors/Officers-in-charge of Large, Medium and Mini Category Zoos in the country on March 13 asking the authorities concerned to take all possible preventive measures to control the spread of the said virus.
As per the office memorandum of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, mass gathering should be avoided to reduce the spread of COVID- 19. It is also advised that mass gatherings may be avoided or possibly be postponed till the disease is contained. The zoos should prominently display the posters and advisory on safe habits in the wake of COVID-19. The circular mentions that though the mode of transmission of the novel Coronavirus is still not reported from animal to human, suitable sanitary and hygiene standards must be adhered to in animal feed stores and salughter house. Regular cleaning and disinfection of common areas must be increased during this period of heightened concern.
The CZA has suggested the staff members of zoo to use mask especially dealing with public and regular handwashing, sanitisation and social distancing must be maintained at ticket/entry gates. As per the office memorandum circulated by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Personnel and Training), it is desirable to avoid touching surfaces, which might be infected. Employees may therefore be exempted from marking biometric attendance till March 31. However, all the employees are required to mark their attendance in attendance register during this period, it pointed out. Dr Sunil Bawaskar, Office-in-charge of Maharajbag zoo, said the staff and workers in the zoo started taking precautionary measures from Sunday. There were almost no visitors of Maharajbag zoo, he added.