BERLIN, March 17./TASS/. There is no scientific evidence that humans can contract the novel coronavirus from farm livestock or pets, Germany’s Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klockner told a news conference in Berlin on Tuesday.
"It has not been proved as of yet that [the virus] can be transmitted to humans from farm livestock or pets," the minister said." "With scientific data in view, we can argue that this has not happened as of yet," she added, noting that experts were studying that issue.
More than 8,000 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus in Germany, and 20 have died according to media reports.
Earlier, experts from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) dismissed media reports that the novel coronavirus can be passed from pets to humans.
"Current scientific knowledge makes it possible to state that there is no evidence that pets or animals bred by humans play any role in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the disease," ANSES said in a statement. Earlier media reports said that a dog in Hong Kong reportedly tested ‘weak positive’ for the virus in February after its owner had got infected with Covid-19.
An outbreak of the new coronavirus-related disease, which occurred in central China at the end of 2019, has now spread to more than 160 countries. The World Health Organization has declared a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, more than 180,000 people around the world have contracted the virus; about 7,500 have died.