Several goats, who were quarantined and tested after their goatherd was found to be infected with coronavirus, have tested negative for the virus.
The news comes as a relief to farmers in Godekere village in Tumakuru district which neighbours Bengaluru.
The negative results of ten goats who were tested were announced on Saturday. The results of five other samples tested are awaited.
The residents of the village in Chikkanayakanahalli taluk in Tumakuru had panicked after four goats reportedly died at the farm. An official in the animal husbandry department of the district said that few goats had developed respiratory problems. The goats were subsequently quarantined.
"The goat-herd tended to 40-50 goats. Among them, some goats showed symptoms of a disease. Even the goats in a neighboring shed showed some symptoms. District administration issued a notice to go to the spot and conduct virology tests in the laboratory," KG Nandeesh, Deputy Director of the Veterinary Department in Tumakuru.
The residents of the village sought the help of Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy as he is the district-in-charge minister in Tumakuru.
The minister, in turn, directed the animal husbandry department to probe the matter. Department officials collected tissues and swab samples of the goat on July 1.
The Southern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory under the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, a government-run institute, processed ten samples collected. Five other samples were sent to a lab in Bhopal, Nandeesh said.
The swab samples of goats belonging to Shantha Kumar and Mangalamma from Godakere village were collected. The samples were subjected to a SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
"Goat samples tested for COVID-19 were found negative by real-time PCR," Dr Sanjeev Kumar M, Assistant Professor at the laboratory stated.
Animals testing positive for the novel coronavirus is not unheard of. The United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reported that a tiger in a zoo in New York had tested positive for the virus.
The CDC said that the virus can be transmitted to â€ścats, dogs, and a few other types of animalsâ€ť and in the US, they became sick after having come in contact with infected people.