"Forests being cleared for development, including farming and mining, has the potential to wipe out wild animals' habitat, so they will intrude into human settlements and transmit virus," senior researcher at the Primate Study Center of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) Joko Pamungkas stated during a seminar on anticipating coronavirus COVID-19: from Eijkman Institute for Indonesia in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Undoubtedly, the growing population will result in virus-carrying animals and human beings living in greater proximity to one another, he stated.
Bat and civet can potentially transmit the coronavirus to humans, he pointed out.
"Greater the biodiversity of wild animals, higher the potential or risk they may have as reservoir or virus-carrying animals," he noted.
Pamungkas cautioned that if the habitat of wild animals gets wiped out owing to conversion of forests into farm land, it could result in them venturing closer to humans by trespassing into human settlements in pursuit of food.
"This raises the likelihood of wild animals coming into contact with humans," he stated.
To prevent the coronavirus outbreak from recurring in future, he suggested that human beings should not destroy the habitat of wild animals.
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