Hong Kong to euthanize thousands of small animals after several test positive for coronavirus at pet store
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong authorities claimed Tuesday that they will eliminate about 2,000 compact animals, such as hamsters, just after numerous analyzed beneficial for the coronavirus at a pet retail outlet the place an employee was also contaminated.
The metropolis will also prevent the sale of hamsters and the import of smaller mammals, according to officers from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The pet store employee analyzed favourable for the delta variant on Monday, and many hamsters imported from the Netherlands at the keep examined good as nicely.
According to the U.S. Centers for Ailment Handle and Prevention, animals do not show up to engage in a considerable purpose in spreading the coronavirus. But Hong Kong authorities explained they are not ruling out transmission among animals and humans.
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“We are unable to exclude the probability that the shopkeeper was in point basically infected from the hamsters,” explained Edwin Tsui, a controller at the Centre for Wellness Security.
“If you very own a hamster, you should maintain your hamsters at home, do not get them out,” section director Leung Siu-fai mentioned at a news conference. “All pet entrepreneurs must notice very good personal hygiene, and right after you have been in call with animals and their foods, you must clean your hands.”
“Do not kiss your pets,” he extra.
As a precautionary measure, customers who procured hamsters from the retail store immediately after Jan. 7 will be traced and be subject matter to required quarantine and must hand about their hamsters to authorities to be set down, officers explained.
They mentioned all pet retailers in Hong Kong need to prevent selling hamsters and that about 2,000 tiny mammals, together with hamsters and chinchillas, will be killed in a humane fashion.
Prospects who acquired hamsters in Hong Kong from Dec. 22 will be matter to obligatory tests and are urged not speak to others until finally their checks have returned negative. If their hamsters test positive, they will be subject matter to quarantine.
Hong Kong’s Society for the Avoidance of Cruelty to Animals stated it was “shocked and concerned” by the selection to destroy the animals, and urged the authorities not to “take any drastic motion before reviewing its strategy.”
Hong Kong has been grappling with a neighborhood omicron outbreak traced to various Cathay Pacific crew users who dined at bars and eating places throughout the metropolis just before tests beneficial for the omicron variant.
The authorities announced late Monday that two former flight attendants have been arrested for leaving their residences in the course of quarantine and later staying verified to have coronavirus bacterial infections. It did not determine their employer, but reported the two arrived from the U.S. on Dec. 24 and 25 and “conducted unneeded activities” when below medical surveillance.
The arrests came right after Cathay Pacific reported it had fired two crew associates for breaching coronavirus protocols. It formerly apologized and called their steps “extremely disappointing.” The business had to slash again on flights — equally passenger and cargo — in January because of tightened virus curbs.
The two have been released on bail and will have their case read in court docket on Feb. 9. If convicted of violating anti-epidemic laws, they could face up to six months’ imprisonment and a good of up to 5,000 Hong Kong bucks ($642).
Formerly in Hong Kong, some air and sea crew customers could isolate at house under quarantine exemptions. Rules had been tightened on Dec. 31 to have to have crew users to isolate in a specified quarantine lodge for about a 7 days.