"Theoretically, it is very possible. But we currently have no evidence of whether there has been animal-to-human transmission," Mahardika said to ANTARA on Tuesday.
He also stressed the need for specific prevention and handling measures for animals before they become sources of transmission to humans, through inspecting their condition and immediately vaccinating them.
"Therefore, we must immediately develop a vaccine for animals," he added.
Related news: Jakarta governor visits two Sumatran tigers contracting COVID-19
Two Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) at the Ragunan Wildlife Park in Jakarta were confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 on July 15, 2021.
Animals have also been infected with COVID-19 in other countries, such as gorillas at the San Diego Zoo and tigers at the Bronx Zoo in the United States. COVID-19 infections have also been confirmed in pets, such as cats in Europe and dogs in Hong Kong, which contracted the virus from their owners.
Several countries have injected animals with COVID-19 vaccines, such as Russia, which used the Carnivac-Cov vaccine, and the US, where the Oakland Zoo in California used the Zoetis-manufactured vaccine.
Related news: Social media continues to celebrate Greysia-Apriyani win
Related news: Indonesia achieves its Tokyo Olympics target for now: KOI chief