IAM: No hamsters in Macau have tested positive for Covid-19

The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) have deployed more staff to carry out inspections of pet shops selling hamsters in Macau, and performed random nucleic acid tests for Covid-19 on pet shop hamsters yesterday.

This comes after Covid-19 was detected in multiple samples collected from hamsters in a pet shop in Hong Kong. About 2,000 small animals, including hamsters, were culled after several tested positive for the coronavirus at a pet store where an employee was also infected.

In a statement, the IAM has said that all the results are negative. According to import records, no hamsters have been imported into Macau by local pet shops since last year.

“IAM will closely monitor the development of the issue and carry out dynamic risk assessment jointly with the Health Bureau, and adopt prevention and control measures corresponding to the development of the pandemic,” the bureau said.

IAM urges pet owners to adopt proper hygiene and disinfection measures for themselves and their pets in, and not to abandon their pets because of any rumors.

Hong Kong has also halted the sale of hamsters and the import of small mammals, according to officials from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The pet shop employee tested positive for the delta variant on Monday, and several hamsters imported from the Netherlands at the store tested positive as well. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals do not appear to play a significant role in spreading the coronavirus. However, Hong Kong authorities have said they are not ruling out transmission between animals and humans.  LV/AP

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