Authorities in Hong Kong placed an order the deaths of about 2,000 hamsters and other small rodents after health officials said they may be responsible for infecting pet store employees with COVID-19.
Eleven samples from hamsters at the Little Boss pet store in China tested positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19. Official suspicion fell on these tiny creatures after a 23-year-old worker at the pet store tested positive for COVID-19.
Although authorities agree there is no evidence to date that pets can transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus to humans, customers who arrive at the store after January 7 will be subject to quarantine. Pet owners who purchased a hamster starting December 22 should turn their pet over to the authorities to be tested for the virus. If the test is positive for the animal, the establishment owner will be subject to quarantine. Regardless of the test results, the guinea pig will be defeated.
All stores that sell hamsters have also been ordered to close.
However, Hong Kong of South China Morning article newspapers quoted an unnamed source as saying that health authorities believe “it is very likely that the transmission this time is from animals to humans”. Sequencing the genome of the virus found in the animals, imported from the Netherlands, showed it to be similar to the virus found in pet store employees.
“We don’t want to destroy all the animals,” conservation official Thomas Sit told reporters. “But we need to protect public health and animal health. We have no choice. We have to make a firm decision.”
It is the latest dramatic measure Hong Kong officials have taken as part of the city’s “no COVID” approach. After a cluster of fewer than 100 cases of the Omicron variant broke out in the city of 7.5 million, officials imposed 2020-style social distancing restrictions, including closing bars and restaurants. bars and gyms and ordered restaurants to close at 6 p.m. All flights from eight countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have been banned, and officials have barred passengers not from 150 countries travel through Hong Kong – which was once a global transit hub. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be hospitalized and their close contacts will be monitored and committed to a government facility for 14 days of quarantine. More than 3,000 people, including international visitors, are currently detained — most at the Penny Bay Quarantine Center near Hong Kong Disneyland.
The policy — which has seen the city record 13,000 fewer cases and 213 deaths from COVID-19 — reflects the same Mainland China’s vigilance, worked to remove all traces of the infection at any cost. Hong Kong is hoping that Beijing will allow the resumption of quarantine-free travel between the city and the mainland — which is crucial for many businesses and families in Hong Kong.
This is not the first time Hong Kong has linked human transmission of COVID-19 to pets. When the pandemic broke out in 2020, a 17-year-old Pomeranian tested positive for the virus. But in that case, the health authority asserted The dog is infected with the disease from its owner.
Some of the city’s residents took to Twitter to question the mass extermination of the field mice — including the government’s promise to deal with them “humanely.”
The virus behind COVID-19 is is said to have jumped from animal to human, but the transmission of COVID-19 from animals to humans has not been scientifically proven. Authorities advised city dwellers not to leave their pets on the streets, instead calling conservation officials to dispose of the hamsters or take them directly to their office.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says dogs, cats and other animals can become infected with COVID-19, but the risk of animal-to-human transmission is low.
https://time.com/6139876/hong-kong-hamsters-covid-19/ Hong Kong says Hamsters may have infected pet store employees with COVID-19. Now all must die