HYDERABAD: There has been a rise in employees of government veterinary hospitals falling sick with seasonal flu and Covid-19 caused by Omicron variant of the novel Coronavirus for the past 10 days, due to the increase in the number of pets being brought for consultations.
Pet animals are being brought in large numbers for general consultations, as there are holidays to educational intuitions as well as most of the employees work from homes.
The staff of veterinary hospitals alleged that most pet owners come there just for time pass, along with one pet, with two to four attendants accompanying each pet. The veterinary staff, who work in close proximity to those attendants, are said to be contracting the virus.
On the other hand, the animal husbandry department is keeping a close watch on animals with flu-like symptoms. Whenever animals are found showing symptoms, their samples are sent for testing to investigate the possible presence of Coronavirus, according to the department.
As of now, no such cases of pets and farm animals getting infected by covid 19 had been noticed, the officials said. There are seven veterinary hospitals and two veterinary college hospitals in the city, run by the state animal husbandry department, with a staff of around 250. A total of 70 people fell sick and out of them 20 per cent were infected by coronavirus, mostly by omicron.
Covid test has been made mandatory for those who are falling sick. The number of consultations for pets have increased. There are more than 200 cases of pets being brought in for check-up at Narayanaguda Super Specialty Veterinary Hospital daily, and pet attendants are gathering at the entrance of the hospital, increasing the risk of Covid-19 spread.
Dr Madhusudhan, assistant director, Telangana animal husbandry department, said, “If you look at the Narayanaguda multi-specialty hospital, people are gathering at the entrance just before lunchtime, and each pet is accompanied by three or four people. These pet owner’s irresponsible behaviour is making our staff fall sick. Same is the case with all the other centres. Because of work from home and holidays, people are getting pets for check-ups. Most of the people are coming for time pass along with their pets.”
On the department’s preparedness for monitoring Coronavirus cases in pets and farm animals, he said, “The department is closely watching the animals with flu-like symptoms.
There are no special drives but all animals such as pets and cattle are under close watch.”...