The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture andthe Saudi Wildlife Authority have underlined the urgent need for takingadequate preventive measures in dealing with domestic and migratory animals andbirds. 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 ofthe world.
Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said on Friday thatno cases of coronavirus have so far been recorded in the Kingdom. The ministryconfirmed that there is as yet no information about the presence of this virusin the Kingdom's wildlife, and that the previously recorded Coronavirusin the Kingdom is completely different from the new virus.
The ministry said that preliminary information indicatesthat the new coronavirus spreading in China is an animal disease, as thebreeding ground of the epidemic was on a seafood market consisting of multipletypes of live animals and their products, such as bats, predators, rodents andreptiles, in addition to poultry. The ministry drew attention to reportsindicating that tests conducted at the epicenter of the disease in Chinaconfirmed that the virus first passed from animals to humans from the market.
The Wildlife Authority also noted that the Kingdom lies onthe paths of migratory birds that pass through its air space coming from areasthat may be infested with certain diseases that affect animals or birds, ofwhich some of them may be transmitted to humans, and carry them without theappearance of pathological symptoms in some cases. The authority called fortaking utmost care and precaution to avoid contact with wild birds and animalsin general, and to take all necessary measures to reduce the risks oftransmitting the disease to humans and animals in the Kingdom.