Hundreds of animals have mysteriously dropped dead in China amid the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.
Chinese authorities have admitted they have discovered mass animal deaths in the epicentre of the outbreak Hubei province.
State-run media reported at least 135 animals were found dead in one discovery near the city of Chongqing.
At least 17 pieces were found to have died – including wild boar, weasels, and a number of birds.
Communist Party officials have blamed the deaths on massive disinfecting efforts carried out by Chinese authorities.
Videos have previously been released showing trucks driving around coronavirus hit cities spraying huge plumes of toxic liquid to kill the infection.
Chinese state media said Chongqing has mobilized a force of 5,300 forest rangers to monitor wildlife in the area.
They have also enlisted 200 “full-time supervisors.”
It is reported that animals will be buried and the sites were they were found will also be disinfected.
Authorities have also insisted the animals have not died due to the coronavirus, or any other disease due to bird flu.
Scepticism remains over whether or not the Chinese government is withholding information about the coronavirus outbreak.
The mysterious animal death comes after at least 40 incinerators were shipped to the coronavirus ravaged city of Wuhan.
Officials had said the furnaces were to be used to burn medical supplies and animal carcasses.
It comes after Chinese crematorium workers claimed they were burning bodies 24/7 in Wuhan.
Disturbing reports continue to emerge from the city and wider region following its quarantine last month.
Chinese authorities have made stamping out the infection at its epicentre their number one mission.
Wuhan has been at the centre of the global epidemic which has infected more than 76,000 people and killed more than 2,200 in 26 countries.
It is believed the virus spread from bats to other animals in the so-called “wet markets” in the city before being passed to humans.
Pictures have emerged showing deserted streets, and videos of early in the outbreak show hospitals completely heaving with people.
Several new hospitals were hurriedly constructed to the city to help battle with virus.
And the Wuhan hospital director Liu Zhiming has reportedly died of the infection, with around 1,700 doctors diagnosed with Covid-19.
The numbers of official new coronavirus cases are falling as China claims it is getting to grips with the outbreak following the intervention of Xi Jinping.
Officials have been carrying out a door-to-door campaign in Wuhan to root out anyone in the city with the infection.
“This must be taken seriously,” said Wang Zhonglin, Wuhan’s new Communist Party secretary.
“There’s nothing more important than human life,” Wang said in remarks published by the government of Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.
“If a single new case is found (after Wednesday), the district leaders will be held responsible.”
World Health Organisation chiefs last week labelled the coronavirus outbreak “public enemy number one” and said it was a bigger global threat than terrorism.
Chinese-state media also unleashed a decree banning funerals earlier this month, saying all bodies must be instantly burned by authorities.
Citing the National Health Commission, newspapers confirmed all bodies should be burned “close by and immediately”.
It added: “Burials or the transfer of bodies is not allowed. Funerals not allowed to avoid spread of the virus.”
At least 16 cities are under lockdown in China, with an estimated 55 million people living in quarantine.
Elsewhere, China has reportedly begun burning cash as they fears banknotes could help the spread of the virus.
It is estimated around $600 million worth of notes have been either destroyed or taken out of circulation by the Communist Party.
Cash is also being shipped back to the Chinese central bank to be disinfected to try kill the virus.
Concerns about the virus are now turning to the potentially huge economic impacts of a country living under quarantine.
Authorities in China recorded 118 deaths on Thursday, taking the total to 2,236 inside the country.
In the World Health Organisation (WHO) briefing on Thursday, director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said: “You will get sick of me saying that the window of opportunity remains open for us to contain this Covid-19 outbreak.
“WHO is doing everything we can to seize that window of opportunity, and we urge the international community to do the same.”
He said the data continues to show a decline in new cases “but this is no time for complacency”.