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Recent news that a Malayan Tiger in New York being infected by Covid-19 has sparked a new wave of panic among pet-owners.
In response, Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah noted on his Facebook that pets are considered part of the family and we should keep good hygiene at all times.
The Ministry of Health is also following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guideline for dealing with animals during the pandemic. Which is to say they are suggesting us to just practice good hygiene.
There was no suggestion for people to maintain a distance from their pets, so please do not panic and abandon your pets out of fear of the virus!
While the coronavirus is indeed zoonotic, which means that it can transfer from animal to human and vice versa, there is no current evidence to suggest that this should be a cause for concern right now.
Most coronaviruses are commonly found in animals, and of the different kinds of coronaviruses, there are only 7 that can infect people.
Pets are very domesticated and often stay within the home compound already. Your pets most likely have been practicing #StayAtHome before you did. In fact, known cases of pets with Covid-19 caught it from their owners and handlers who were infected with the virus first, including the case of the Bronx Zoo’s Malayan Tiger Nadia.
Current global human Covid-19 infections are over a million, while known cases of pets with the coronavirus are less than ten.
If you really do worry about your pets, then have them practice social distancing and stay in the house with you instead. Practice good hygiene including cleaning and sanitizing the house. Wash your hands before and after handling your pets.
Please remember that pets are part of your family and should be treated as such!
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.