By James Pomfret
HONG KONG (Reuters) -Hong Kong authorities stated on Sunday one hamster surrendered to authorities by pet homeowners had examined constructive for COVID-19 and that over 2,200 hamsters had been culled as the town struggled to include an outbreak.
On Tuesday, officers ordered the killing of hamsters from dozens of pet retailers after tracing a coronavirus outbreak to a employee at a store and requested folks to give up any purchased on or after Dec. 22.
Whereas a handful of hamsters had already examined constructive for the virus, this newest case is the primary involving a hamster in the care of a pet-owner that had examined constructive.
Regardless of a public outcry in opposition to the hamster crackdown, authorities urged pet-owners to proceed handy over their tiny furry pets given burgeoning well being dangers.
“(The federal government) strongly advises members of the general public once more to give up … as quickly as doable their hamsters bought in native pet retailers on or after December 22, 2021 for humane dispatch,” the federal government stated in a press release.
As at Jan. 22, a complete of two,512 animals, together with 2,229 hamsters, had been “humanely dispatched” in keeping with a authorities assertion.
Hong Kong’s chief Carrie Lam earlier informed reporters that she understood “pet homeowners are sad” with the killings, however stated the largest precedence was to manage the outbreak.
The federal government described the outcry as “irrational”.
Hundreds of individuals have supplied to undertake undesirable hamsters.
Some scientists and veterinary authorities have stated there is no such thing as a proof that animals play a serious position in human contagion with the coronavirus.
In the meantime, officers have warned that COVID-19 infections might be rising exponentially within the congested residential space of Kwai Chung on the Kowloon peninsula, as a second constructing within the district with 2,000 residents was locked down on Saturday for 5 days.
Greater than 35,000 residents in over a dozen buildings within the space needed to bear obligatory COVID-19 assessments, with Lam and different senior officers visiting the world on Sunday.
Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s Well being Secretary, informed reporters on Sunday that the town’s technique of containment would proceed.
Some 140 confirmed circumstances had been reported on Sunday, the best every day quantity within the monetary hub since July 25, 2020.
Lam urged folks to keep away from gatherings forward of subsequent week’s Lunar New 12 months holidays to attempt to include the extremely infectious Omicron variant.
The scenario is testing Hong Kong’s “zero COVID-19” technique targeted on eliminating the illness, with faculties and gymnasiums already shut, eating places closing at 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) and air journey with many main hubs severed or severely disrupted.
Some corporations have begun to enact contingency measures.
UBS Group AG stated in a word to its Hong Kong employees reviewed by Reuters that it had “determined to maneuver to work-from-home operations for all besides a minimal variety of employees who’ve important duties to be accomplished within the workplace” given the Omicorn outbreak.
A UBS spokesman declined to touch upon the memo.
(Further reporting by Twinnie Siu, Sumeet Chatterjee and Jessie Pang; Modifying by Christopher Cushing and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)