The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department says at least five samples collected from two pet dogs and three pet cats tested positive for COVID-19 on July 28,as Hong Kong battles its third wave of infections.
But none of the animals showed any symptoms related to COVID-19.
The city has seen triple-digit increase in infections almost daily. To date, there are 2,885 COVID-19 cases, 1,527 recoveries and 23 deaths.
“So far a total of 98 animals have been taken into animal keeping facilities of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. But as those animals, which completed quarantine, are returned to their owners, only 39 animals are currently under quarantine and veterinary monitoring,” a spokesperson for the AFCD told Around DB in an email.
Quarantine facilities at the Hong Kong Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge for pets provided to Around DB by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
On a press release issued on July 27, the AFCD said it was launching the New Territories South Animal Management Centre as another facility for pet animals related to COVID-19, noting a sharp increase in both the numbers of confirmed and close contact human cases that required pet owners to send their animals to their department for quarantine and veterinary monitoring.
“All animals originally kept in the NTSAMC have been transferred to other Animal Management Centres for follow-up, and the NTSAMC will cease to receive any other animals until further notice.The animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will only be used for quarantine and veterinary monitoring for animals tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” it said.
The AFCD wishes to remind the public to adopt good hygiene practices, including hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing them. People who are sick should restrict contact with animals. Pet owners are advised to seek help from a veterinarian if changes in the pet’s health condition are spotted.
The spokesperson for AFCD also emphasised that there is no evidence to support that pets play a role in spreading the novel coronavirus to humans. –Report by Jan Yumul