Hong Kong wants to sacrifice nearly two thousand hamsters after the health authorities of that territory found indications of a possible contagion of COVID-19 from these rodents.
It is a group of hamsters, close to two thousand, which was imported from the Netherlands, according to what was reported by the newspaper South China Morning Post.
Due to this finding, government authorities ordered pet stores and owners who purchased these animals after December 22 to hand them over for euthanization.
At the same time, the arrival of small animals from abroad has been suspended.
This first suspected case was detected in a worker at a pet store in Causeway Bay and would be the first case of animal-to-human transmission (zoonosis) recorded in Hong Kong.
Also, this is the first time in three months that medical experts have not been able to trace the origin of the infection.
Although the transmission route is still being investigated, it is known that at least eleven of the hamsters that were sold in the store tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the news outlet, the evidence that has been collected so far suggests that hamsters were the vector of transmission.
In addition, according to health authorities, the same genome of the virus found in the patient in the store coincides with that of rodents and with the one that circulates in Europe and Pakistan.
This report has caused concern throughout the territory.
“The risk in the case of this pet store is that it involves animals and that it has more than ten establishments throughout Hong Kong,” said Carrie Lam, head of the local government.