Speaking for the voiceless | The Daily Star
07:37 PM, March 23, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:20 PM, March 23, 2020

Speaking for the voiceless

Dr Luthfor Rahman and Afzal Khan urge people not to mistreat animals during the Coronavirus pandemic

Dr Md Luthfor Rahman, one of Bangladesh's leading veterinary surgeons, and Afzal Khan, widely known as RobinHood – The Animal Rescuer, recently raised awareness on the Coronavirus pandemic, and debunked some of the most circulated myths about the issue.

There are several myths about the origin of the COVID-19, and scientists are struggling to find the exact origin at the moment. A widespread myth about the virus is that this virus spreads through animals; they are carriers of the virus and keeping them as pets is unhygienic.

According to several international organisations and animal experts, this idea is backed by no evidence. In the wake of this myth, several animals were mistreated and many animal owners were shamed. Homeowners have thrown out several pets, in fear of the virus.

RobinHood and Dr Luthfor urged everyone with pets to not panic. There is no such scientific evidence as of now to prove that animals can spread the coronavirus, so it is unfair to mistreat the animals. However, an infected patient can infect an animal (but not vice-versa) and to prevent this spread, proper hygiene and cleanliness have to be maintained by everyone.

RobinHood further urged everyone to take legal action if anyone mistreats animals based on this myth. "In a situation like this, we need to be more cautious. We need to maintain proper hygiene and wash our hands properly," shares Dr Luthfor. "It is normal for anyone to catch the seasonal flu and if we do, we cannot panic and should just maintain proper hygiene and keep a distance from  others."

Dr Luthfor has been treating different animals all his life and he also treated the Prime Minister's household pets.

Afzal Khan, an actor by profession, has been taking care of stray and differently abled dogs and cats and providing them shelter at his own house since 2010. Later on, Afzal founded Animal Care Trust Bangladesh. To reach Afzal and his rescuing team, dial 999 for any information on mistreated animals and their safety.



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