PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The Veterinary Services Department is monitoring local livestock and the import of animal products to ensure they are free of Covid-19, says its director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam.
He said samples of imported animal products such as chicken meat slices are being laboratory-tested before they are allowed entry into the country.
"We will keep monitoring these products. Thankfully, no samples have tested positive for the coronavirus," Dr Quaza Nizamuddin said, adding that so far, there were no reports or evidence at international level which linked the coronavirus to livestock.
The department also had not received any reports of livestock affected by Covid-19 since the infections first occurred in Malaysia.
However, he stressed during a recent interview with Bernama, that although there were no reports, monitoring and investigations would continue."If any health issues arise, these will be brought to the attention of veterinary clinics, be they private or government clinics, and from that point, we will ascertain if there are any cases linked to Covid-19," the director-general added.
Dr Quaza Nizamuddin added that no live animals from China were brought into the country, and as such, the risk of Covid-19 transmissions through animals, was low in Malaysia.
Asked about the possibility of animals contracting the virus, he said all mammals were exposed to the risk of infection.
Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan city in the province of Hubei in China, in December last year, and has since spread to more than 20 countries.
Based on Health Ministry statistics as of this morning, the number of positive coronavirus cases in Malaysia remains at 22, comprising 15 Chinese nationals, six Malaysians and one citizen of the United States. A total of 17 individuals among the 22, have recovered completely and have been discharged. - Bernama