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Experts reiterate no COVID transmission from animals to humans, urge people not to abandon pets

By Ajit K Jha | Updated: May 25, 2021 19:37 IST

New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): As the rumours of the transmission of COVID-19 from animals to humans get momentum amid the second wave, top doctors and experts of the country have debunked the myth, stating that there is no data that shows that the virus spread from animals to humans.
There has been a rumour of transmission of COVID from animals to humans since the beginning of the pandemic. Many activists and pet welfare animal organisations raised concern over people leaving their pets on the streets due to fear of COVID transmission.
Meanwhile, the top doctors and veterinarians negate the rumours.
"There is no data that shows the virus spread from animals to humans. We only have data showing that the virus spread from humans to animals as seen in a zoo in New York during the first wave," AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria told ANI.
Leading pet specialist Dr Sandeep Singh said, "Pets do not spread COVID infection to humans. People should avoid these rumours. There is no need to leave dogs and cats on the streets. I received many calls from people asking if COVID can spread from pets. I apprised them that these are only rumours. So far no institution has said that there is a risk of spreading COVID infection from pets."
Mumbai-based Infectious disease and HIV specialists Dr Ishwar Gilada also emphasised that COVID does not spread from pets to humans and said misinformation spreads very fast. He said it is coming to the fore that people are leaving their pets on the streets at the behest of the false campaign.
"A false narrative is being propagated that COVID infection is transmitted via pets like dogs and cats. People have started abandoning their pets which is very wrong. People must know COVID can spread only from humans to humans and not from pets to humans. It is not a zoonotic disease that spreads from animals to humans," Dr Gilada explained.
Urging people not to believe in false propaganda and leave their pets on streets, he said: "There is no established theory that COVID can spread from pets to humans. So there is nothing to be afraid of keeping pets at home. It is my appeal to everyone to look after their pets and not leave them on the streets. And, please do not forward these rumours on social media or support this false campaign." (ANI)