UNAIR NEWS – Coronavirus pandemic not only threatens human health, but also animals because there are indications that animals have the potential to become carriers of the virus. There are also those that state animals can be infected with the virus. This then raises fears and sentiments towards certain animals.
The concern arises from information stating that the corona virus originated from bats. In addition, there are some reports that cases of coronavirus infection in several animals such as dogs and cats in China, cats in Belgium, and tigers at the Bronx Zoo, United States.
Meanwhile, there have been no reports in Indonesia related to pets or livestock that are sick due to coronavirus. The statement was made by the Director General of Animal Husbandry and Health (PKH) representative, drh. Fajar Sumping Tjatur Rasa, Ph.D., in a webinar with Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH) Universitas Airlangga, last Saturday, May 16.
In a webinar entitled Covid-19 Impact: Medical Services and Veterinary Public Health, other speakers such as drh. HM Munawaroh, MM., (Head of the Executive Board of PDHI); Prof. Dr. drh. Fedik Abdul Rantam, Prof. Dr. Mochamad Lazuardi, M.Si., and Dr. drh. NLP Indi Dharmayanti, M.Si. (Head of Center for Veterinary Research).
“Until now, there has been no evidence that states animals play a significant role in the spread of coronavirus or can be infected by humans. This is in accordance with what was stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), “said drh. Fajar.
Even so, drh. Fajar said, if the coronavirus pandemic had an impact on the animal sector, especially when the Large-Scale Social Distancing (PSBB) were imposed.
“This PSBB policy has many impacts, such as falling demand as well as prices, both for livestock and pets. In fact, the turnover of farmers or farm units has dropped to 50 percent. Furthermore, the animal trade lane was disrupted because the import and export activities were temporarily suspended, “he explained.
He also justified the emergence of concerns and sentiments towards certain animals from the community, so many animals are threatened because they are not maintained properly. Therefore, it is necessary to have a multi-sectoral approach in mitigating the risk of transmission and communication strategies that are in accordance with the current conditions.
Conditions of animal health medical services during the coronavirus pandemic
One of the efforts to prevent the risk of coronavirus transmission in animals is by paying attention to the conditions of animal health medical services. According to a survey conducted by the Indonesian Veterinarian Association (PDHI), it was discovered that there were changes during the pandemic, especially from animal health medical service procedures.
During the pandemic, some veterinarians began implementing certain medical services, both through telemedicine and online consult because they are also at risk for contracting the virus from animal owners or other coronavirus patients.
According to Prof. Dr. Mochamad Lazuardi, drh., M.Si., there are three risks that can befall a veterinarian: high risk (veterinarians interact with animal owners who are infected with corona or coming from the red zone); moderate risk (veterinarian visits home); and low risk (veterinarians do not interact with patients).
“There are also unidentified risks, where veterinarians interact with animal owners who is asymptomatic for coronavirus. Procedures without at risk are virtual medical services. However, each service has its own protocol, “he said.
The lecturer from FKH UNAIR Department of Veterinary Basic Medicine (KDV) explained that there are at least three animal health medical services that can be performed during the pandemic, In Door – Outpatient, In Door – Inpatient, and Out Door – House Call.
However, of those three types of medical services, there are several general protocols that need to be performed by veterinarians, such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by veterinarians; application of physical distancing between doctors and animal and animal owners; examination; minimize interaction through the use of communication devices; to financial transactions that utilize applications or ATMs.
“After practice, veterinarians are required to sterilize self, tools and practice rooms,” said the lecturer of FKH UNAIR. (*)
The webinar can be accessed on the following page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cGLUoV-nWo&list=LL8uSav0k3OTK07B98gwBcGA&index=5&t=0s
Author: Nabila Amelia
Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia