By J. Jala | 10:40 PM February 28, 2020
More tests will be conducted to see if the dog had really been infected with the virus or if it was just environmental contamination of its mouth and nose.
The New York Post and Time reported that the pooch’s oral and nasal cavities were tested Wednesday, with the results showing a “weak positive” of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
Health officials are not sure if the dog, which is not exhibiting any symptoms, is actually infected or just carrying the virus in its mouth and nose from “environmental contamination.”
“At present, the [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department] does not have evidence that pet animals can be infected with COVID-19 virus or can be a source of infection to people,” Hong Kong’s government said in a press release.
The dog is believed to belong to a Jockey Club member who is a Covid-19 patient. Her domestic helper is also infected. The pair were among the 93 cases that have been reported in Hong Kong so far.
More tests will be administered on the dog, which will remain in quarantine until the results come back negative.
The World Health Organisation says there is no evidence that companion animals or pets can be infected with the coronavirus.
It added repeated tests would be performed on the animal, and it would only be returned to its owner once results had come back negative.
The dog has been quarantined in an animal shelter that is holding no other animals.