Veterinarians and academics caught horseshoe bats in a deep forest cave of the eastern province of Chanthaburi to test them for the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as such bats in China were found infected with it.
There are as many as 23 species of horseshoe bats in Thailand and they had never been tested for the virus.
Officials of the Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Center of the Thai Red Cross Society and the Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary caught over 100 horseshoe bats in Tham Sador cave in Thab Sai sub-district of Pong Nam Ron district from 6pm on June 11 to 3am on the following day for subsequent tests of their blood, saliva and droppings for COVID-19.
Dr Supaporn Wacharapluesadee of the center said tests on local horseshoe bats were necessary because there were reports that COVID-19 in humans was similar to the virus found in horseshoe bats in China and there were as many as 23 horseshoe bat species in Thailand.
According to her, the tests will be conducted on all horseshoe bat species in the country and there had never been a research on diseases in horseshoe bats in Thailand.
Researchers are studying the migration and feeding routes of bats, especially horseshoe bats, to prevent epidemics from bats in the future. (TNA)