According to the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, a Pomeranian dog was tested positive for coronavirus.
Authorities are urging pet owners not to kiss their dogs, after the dog was tested “weak positive” for coronavirus, despite showing no clear signs of the virus.
Hong Kong authorities are telling people to be calm and not to “abandon their pets.”
Hong Kong’s Department of Agriculture said, “Pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.”
The department added, “Pet owners are reminded to adopt good hygiene practices [including hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing them] and to maintain a clean and hygienic household environment.
“People who are sick should restrict contacting animals. If there are any changes in the health condition of the pets, advice from a veterinarian should be sought as soon as possible.”
The Society of the Protection of Animals in Hong Kong said, “While the information tells us that the dog has a low-level of infection members of the public should note that the dog is showing no symptoms whatsoever.
“We have been informed the dog is currently very healthy and doing well at the quarantine centre.”
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, “There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.”
The WHO added, “At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.
“However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.
“This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.”