One surrendered Hong Kong hamster checks COVID optimistic as metropolis lockdown grows

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HONG KONG, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Hong Kong authorities stated on Sunday one hamster surrendered to authorities by pet house owners had examined optimistic 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 outlets after tracing a coronavirus outbreak to a employee at a store and requested individuals to give up any purchased on or after Dec. 22.

Whereas a handful of hamsters had already examined optimistic for the virus, this newest case is the primary involving a hamster within the care of a pet-owner that had examined optimistic.

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Regardless of a public outcry in opposition to the hamster crackdown, authorities urged pet-owners to proceed at hand 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 attainable their hamsters bought in native pet outlets 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” based on a authorities assertion.

Hong Kong’s chief Carrie Lam earlier informed reporters that she understood “pet house owners are sad” with the killings, however stated the most important precedence was to manage the outbreak.

The federal government described the outcry as “irrational”.

Hundreds of individuals have provided to undertake undesirable hamsters.

CONTAINMENT MEASURES

A person with private protecting tools sits inside a automobile in entrance of a briefly closed pet store after the federal government introduced to euthanize round 2,000 hamsters within the metropolis after discovering proof for the primary time of attainable animal-to-human transmission of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, China, January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Some scientists and veterinary authorities have stated there isn’t a proof that animals play a significant position in human contagion with the coronavirus.

In the meantime, officers have warned that COVID-19 infections may very well 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 endure obligatory COVID-19 checks, 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 have been reported on Sunday, the best day by day quantity within the monetary hub since July 25, 2020.

Lam urged individuals 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 state of affairs is testing Hong Kong’s “zero COVID-19” technique centered 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 (UBSG.S) stated in a be aware 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.

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Extra reporting by Twinnie Siu, Sumeet Chatterjee and Jessie Pang; Modifying by Christopher Cushing and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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