The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture and the Saudi Wildlife Authority have underlined the urgent need for taking adequate preventive measures in dealing with domestic and migratory animals and birds. This was in the backdrop of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Chinese city of Wuhan and its spread to many other parts of the world.
Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said on Friday that no cases of coronavirus have so far been recorded in the Kingdom. The ministry confirmed that there is as yet no information about the presence of this virus in the Kingdom’s wildlife, and that the previously recorded Coronavirus in the Kingdom is completely different from the new virus.
The ministry said that preliminary information indicates that the new coronavirus spreading in China is an animal disease, as the breeding ground of the epidemic was on a seafood market consisting of multiple types of live animals and their products, such as bats, predators, rodents and reptiles, in addition to poultry. The ministry drew attention to reports indicating that tests conducted at the epicenter of the disease in China confirmed that the virus first passed from animals to humans from the market.
The Wildlife Authority also noted that the Kingdom lies on the paths of migratory birds that pass through its air space coming from areas that may be infested with certain diseases that affect animals or birds, of which some of them may be transmitted to humans, and carry them without the appearance of pathological symptoms in some cases. The authority called for taking utmost care and precaution to avoid contact with wild birds and animals in general, and to take all necessary measures to reduce the risks of transmitting the disease to humans and animals in the Kingdom.