Researchers in Thailand begin testing horseshoe bats for coronavirus

WION Web Team
Bangkok, Thailand Published: Jun 13, 2020, 05:46 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Thailand Photograph:( Reuters )

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They plan to collect 300 bats -- of the 23 species it has -- over three days from a cave in the Chanthaburi province in the southeast of the country. The bats will be released following the tests.

Researchers in Thailand have begun collecting samples from horseshoe bats to test them for coronavirus amid concerns they may pose a threat to local residents.

They plan to collect 300 bats -- of the 23 species it has -- over three days from a cave in the Chanthaburi province in the southeast of the country. The bats will be released following the tests.

Researchers from the National Parks Department, Chulalongkorn Hospital and Kasetsart University entered the cave on Thursday evening and re-emerged in the early hours of Friday with samples of bat blood, saliva and feces.

The source of the virus remains a matter of debate after it emerged in China late last year. There are reports from China that the COVID-19 virus is similar to the virus found in the horseshoe bat.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in April said that all available evidence suggests that it originated in bats in China, but it was not clear how the virus had jumped the species barrier to humans.

Thailand was the first country outside China to record a case of the virus. It has so far reported 3,134 cases and 58 deaths.

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