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A hamster surrendered to Hong Kong authorities by its homeowners has examined constructive for Covid-19 and greater than 2,200 hamsters have been culled, as town grapples to comprise an outbreak of the virus.

On Tuesday officials ordered the killing of hamsters from dozens of pet outlets after tracing a Covid-19 outbreak to a employee and requested individuals to give up any of the animals purchased on or after 22 December.

Whereas a handful of hamsters had already examined constructive for the virus, this case is the primary involving a hamster within the care of a pet proprietor that has examined constructive.

Regardless of a public outcry against the crackdown, authorities urged individuals to proceed at hand over their pets given the rising well being dangers.

“[The government] strongly advises members of the general public once more to give up … as quickly as doable their hamsters bought in native pet outlets on or after 22 December 2021 for humane dispatch,” the federal government mentioned.

Hong Kong’s chief, Carrie Lam, earlier mentioned she understood that pet homeowners have been “sad” with the killings, however mentioned the largest precedence was controlling the outbreak. The federal government described the outcry as “irrational”.

Hundreds of individuals have supplied to undertake undesirable hamsters. Some scientists and veterinary authorities have mentioned there isn’t any proof that animals play a big function in human coronavirus contagion.

In the meantime, officers have mentioned Covid-19 infections could possibly be rising exponentially within the congested residential space of Kwai Chung on the Kowloon peninsula as a second constructing within the district with 2,000 residents was locked down on Saturday for 5 days.

Greater than 35,000 residents in additional than a dozen buildings within the space have been ordered to take Covid-19 assessments, and Lam visited the realm on Sunday. She urged individuals to keep away from gatherings earlier than subsequent week’s lunar new 12 months celebrations, to attempt to comprise the Omicron variant.

The state of affairs is testing Hong Kong’s “zero Covid” technique targeted on eliminating the illness, with faculties and gymnasiums already shut, eating places closing at 6pm and plenty of main journey hubs severely disrupted.

Some corporations have begun to enact contingency measures. UBS Group mentioned in a observe to its Hong Kong workers that it had “determined to maneuver to work-from-home operations for all besides a minimal variety of workers who’ve important duties to be accomplished within the workplace” given the outbreak. A UBS spokesperson declined to touch upon the memo.

On Friday officers shut down the primary Kwai Chung constructing after greater than 20 instances have been linked to it, with meals being delivered from exterior thrice a day and mass testing now underneath means.

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