Corona Virus COVID-19 outbreak is a serious concern to the whole world and this is declared a pandemic by the World Health organization (WHO). While the corona virus has been confirmed in almost all countries across all the continents of the world, many tourists travel from around the world to visit Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the Great East African Rift Valley region of Uganda, Rwanda and DR. Congo. The outbreak of covid-19 is confirmed in these countries as well, hence several precautions are being put in place to protect these endangered primates.
It is of no doubt that the primates including; Mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees, Golden Monkeys and many more are close relatives to human and are confirmed to contract respiratory illness from humans or similarly pass on infections to Humans.
The majority of Mountain Gorillas are Habituated and they are daily in close proximity with tourists during Gorilla trekking or the researchers and conservation teams during daily routine checkups for research or conservation purposes, the same with Chimpanzees and other primates. This means that the primates are at a risk of contracting COVID-19 or any other respiratory illness from the humans if any ill person gets close to these species.
We can protect primates from COVID-19 or any other viral infection, not only so, but as well as any other respiratory illness carried by humanity; by the way the below suggested precautions do not only help protect the primates but also protect the Humans from contracting any infection from the primate.
With the above observed strictly observed, we shall help protect the primates from contracting the pandemic of Corona virus COVID-19.
With the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the sub-Saharan Africa, more so in the countries that share the Virunga region; Uganda, Rwanda, and Dr. Congo, governments of these countries have put in place various precautionary measures to protect the Gorillas, Chimpanzees and other primates from contracting the COVID-19 corona Virus.
Airports and borders are closed in a bid to restrict movements and control the spread of Corona Virus among the populations of these countries. There are no flights currently flying in and out of these region for the late March till the End of April 2020, this could be prolonged until the COVID-19 is controlled.
The conservation and tourism bodies of these countries including Uganda Wildlife Authority UWA, Rwanda Development Board RDB and L’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature ICCN, have temporarily closed the protected areas/ national parks with primates to protect them from contracting COVID-19 for a period of at least 30 days, this means that there are no tourism or research activities going on in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Virunga national Park for the most of late March and April 2020, these closures are most likely to be extend until Corona Virus is under control.
Valiant Safaris is closely observing the situation and we shall keep you updated.
For more about COVID-19;
Map showing COVID-19 distribution