02/28/2020, 13.25
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Pets of infected people quarantined

The decision follows the discovery that a patient's dog was "weak positive" for coronavirus. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will hold pets for 14 days. In mainland China, 329 new cases have been reported with 44 more deaths, the smallest increases since 23 January.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Dogs, cats and other pets belonging to people infected with the coronavirus must be placed under a 14-day quarantine, the Centre for Health Protection announced.  

The pets of infected people must be surrendered to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Hitherto, they could be left with relatives or friends without being quarantined.

This decision stems from the case of a patient’s dog that registered as “weak positive” for the virus.

In Hong Kong, reports about the case have caused even more panic. Many veterinarians have responded to the situation by calling for calm. They point out that it is hard for a dog or cat to be affected by the coronavirus. Instead, pets are likely to carry the virus just like an object, tissue for example.

The "weak positive" dog has showed no symptoms or signs of the disease. Nevertheless, as a precaution, people have been urged to wash their hands well if they touch pets.

In the meantime, the human toll from the virus is rising in Hong Kong. Official figures indicate 94 confirmed cases, 1,889 reported cases and two deaths. Macau has ten cases; Taiwan has 32, with one dead.

By late Thursday, mainland China had reported 78,959 cases, including 329 new ones. The death toll now stands at 2,791, 44 more than in the previous report.

These are the smallest daily increases since 23 January when a public emergency was announced. Officially, some 36,117 people have recovered from the infection, about half of all patients.

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