Hong Kong gov’t confirms dog tests ‘weak positive’ for coronavirus

Swiss Towers in Tai Hang, the home of two people — a 60-year-old local woman and a domestic worker — confirmed to have the coronavirus. On Friday officials confirmed that the woman’s pet dog also tested ‘weak positive’ for the virus. Screenshot via Google Maps.
Swiss Towers in Tai Hang, the home of two people — a 60-year-old local woman and a domestic worker — confirmed to have the coronavirus. On Friday officials confirmed that the woman’s pet dog also tested ‘weak positive’ for the virus. Screenshot via Google Maps.

Hong Kong authorities have confirmed that the pet dog of one COVID-19 patient has tested “weak positive” for the new coronavirus.

The dog is believed to be the pet of case 85, a 60-year-old woman from Tai Hang and Jockey Club member. One of her domestic workers also subsequently tested positive for the virus, and her family was put into quarantine.

Although the identity of case 85 is not known, Apple Daily reported that she’s the owner of a horse that runs in Jockey Club races called Very Rich Man, and have published photos of her and her dog.

A statement from by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said that on the same day case 85 was confirmed to have the virus, personnel from the department went to the flat to pick up the dog and took it to an animal keeping facility at the Hong Kong Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

Nasal and oral cavity samples were taken from the dog, and tested weak positive for the coronavirus.

“The Department will conduct close monitoring of the above dog and collect further samples for testing to confirm if the dog has really been infected with the virus or this is a result of environmental contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose,” the statement reads. “Repeated tests will be conducted for the dog and it will only be returned when the test result is negative.”

The dog is not showing any relevant symptoms, it adds.

While the WHO says there is currently “no evidence” that pets can contract coronavirus, the AFCD notes that pet owners should nonetheless wash their hands thoroughly with soap or sanitizer after being in contact with their pets.

https://www.facebook.com/WHO/photos/a.167668209945237/2882134305165267/?type=3&theater

In a Facebook post, the Hong Kong’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also said that there was no evidence pets can be infected with the coronavirus, and urged people not to abandon their pets over coronavirus fears.

Meanwhile, health officials have confirmed that an 89-year-old woman from Tseung Kwan O has become the latest person to contract the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 93.

A statement published last night also confirmed that she had visited the Fook Wai Ching She temple in North Point, which has been at the center of a cluster of coronavirus cases in the past week.

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