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Pets don’t spread coronavirus, Russian watchdog assures

Earlier, relevant stories emerged in the media saying that a dog in Hong Kong reportedly tested ‘weak positive’ for the virus in February after its owner had got infected with COVID-19

MOSCOW, March 24./TASS/. Pets don’t transmit the novel coronavirus, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Vyacheslav Smolensky, told a briefing at the information center for monitoring the coronavirus situation on Tuesday.

"Pets are not a factor in the transmission risk. During the period of self-isolation, you can give them to your acquaintances to look after them, if you can’t take care of them, this is okay. They won’t be a [risk] factor for transmitting the infection," he assured.

Smolensky also said that the observance of the quarantine requirements is monitored round the clock, even through the use of technical equipment. "Going to a supermarket, or walking the dog is in violation of the self-isolation rules, that is, a breach of the quarantine mode. We recommend that people abide by all these rules and not leave the quarantine site," he added.

Earlier, several authorities confirmed that the virus cannot be passed from animals to humans. 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 earlier in March. Prior to that, experts from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) dismissed media allegations that the novel coronavirus could be passed from pets to humans. These stories appeared after media reports that 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.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was registered in central China in late December 2019. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020. More than 150 countries have been hit by this infection. According to the latest data, nearly 350,000 people have contracted the virus and some 16,000 have died.

At present, Russia has 495 coronavirus cases. Twenty-two people have already recovered and were discharged from hospital.