News Analysis

Covid-19: The Need for Establishment of More Veterinary Laboratories

It is no longer news that Covid-19 just like in human beings, has equally been traced to animals.

In April, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, linked the outbreak of Covid-19 to the Coronavirus originating in wild bats that jumped to people through an intermediary animal, with pangolins among the leading suspects.

These isolated and night mammals are killed for consumption and some parts of their bodies used medicinally in Asia and Africa.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC notes that, majority of all emerging infectious diseases originated from animals and transferred to humans.

According to U.N.O.D.C, Pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world, with seizures of illegal cargo originating in Africa and intended for Asian markets having increased since 2014.

Report shows that between 2014 and 2018, three hundred and seventy thousand Pangolins were seized globally, this is evidence that millions have been trafficked and killed.

Also, wild animals trafficking contributes to the tragedy, making it a threat not only to the environment and natural heritage, but to human health and security.

To this end, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, has warned Nigerians against trafficking in wildlife, arguing that the practice endangers the health of humans and the planet.

Some veterinarians noted that the relation between animals and human are symbiotic which had been in existence over time.

However, the recent report which linked the outbreak of Covid-19 to some animals had necessitated the need for timely testing and treatment of infections in animals to prevent spread of diseases.

They emphasized that establishment of more veterinary laboratories and upgrading of the ones in existence will enable testing of animals for Covid-19 and timely treatment of positive ones to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

It is of utmost importance that pet owners keep their pets clean at all times while reducing the spread of covid19 to the barest minimum as well as maintaining the health standard of World Health Organisation, W.H.O, such as washing of hands with soap under running water, use of face masks and hand sanitizers.

Titilayo Kupoliyi

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