HONG KONG: A pet cat and dog living in two separate areas of Hong Kong have tested positive for COVID-19.
The cases involve a Scottish short-haired cat that lived in Tsuen Wan, a town in Hong Kong's New Territories, and a Yorkshire Terrier dog that lived in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.
Samples collected from the pets were sent to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) and came back positive for the coronavirus, a department spokesman said on Wednesday (Aug 5).
"When the owners were found to be close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the cat and the dog were sent for quarantine at the AFCD on Jul 31."
Neither of the animals have showed any symptoms, the department said, adding that it will continue to monitor the pets closely and repeat the COVID-19 test on them.
The spokesman said there is currently no evidence that pets play a role in the "spread of human infection with the COVID-19 virus".
"Pet owners should always maintain good hygiene practices and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets," he added.
These practices include washing their hands before and after being around or handling animals, as well as "avoiding kissing them", the spokesman said.
"People who are sick should restrict contact with animals. If any changes in the health condition of pets are spotted, advice from a veterinarian should be sought as soon as possible."
In March, a pet cat tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong after its owner was confirmed with having the virus.
Hong Kong authorities also quarantined a pet dog of a coronavirus patient in February, after the animal's nasal and oral samples tested "weak positive" for the coronavirus.