Hong Kong: About 2,000 hamsters to be killed after cases found in a pet store

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The Hong Kong will kill about 2,000 hamsters after some of them tested positive for the new coronavirus, local authorities announced on Tuesday (01/18), in a city that is trying to follow a very strict “zero Covid” strategy. The slaughter of small rodents was decided after cases of Covid-19 were detected in a small pet store.

Hong Kong Health Minister Sophia Chan said that in this way the health of the population is protected, after an employee and a client who caught the hamster found positive for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The employee was infected with the Delta variant, which is rare in local transmission chains in Hong Kong.

“We will take precautionary measures”

“Internationally, there is currently no evidence that animals transmit it coronavirus “People, but we will take precautionary measures,” Chan told a news conference.

11 positive results were found in hamsters

Tests performed at the Little Boss store, in a busy neighborhood of the city, showed 11 positive results in hamsters. Authorities believe the animals were imported from the Netherlands and asked those who bought hamsters after December 22 to hand them over to be killed.

The Little Boss closed today and about 1,000 animals housed there were confiscated and killed. To these will be added another 1,000 hamsters from other Hong Kong pet stores. About 150 customers and 20 employees were sent to a quarantine center, while it was also decided to stop the import of small animals.

Citizens were urged to avoid contact with pets and to keep their homes clean. “Under no circumstances should they leave their animals on the street,” said the director of the veterinary service, Leung Siu-fi.

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