Worried pet owners in China are forcing their cats and dogs to wear makeshift face masks as the deadly coronavirus crisis continues. The coronavirus outbreak has killed nearly 1,662 people since its emergence in China last year.
More than 68,000 people around the world have been infected.
— Eunice Yoon (@onlyyoontv) February 9, 2020
EVEN A DOG IS WEARING A FACE MASK DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN CHINA pic.twitter.com/UEtYa7ICFP
— freezerohedge (@freezerohedge1) February 7, 2020
According to The Sun, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said there is no evidence to suggest pets can be infected with the virus. That, however, hasn’t stopped Chinese citizens from making their pets wear face masks.
Photos shared on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo show cats and dogs wearing makeshift face masks with holes cut out for eyes.
According to The Sun, China’s National health commission has disagreed with WHO’s stance on pets and coronavirus.
Spokesman and epidemiologist Li Lanjuan said: “If pets go out and have contact with an infected person, they have the chance to get infected.
“By then, pets need to be isolated. In addition to people, we should be careful with other mammals especially pets.”
Express News also reported that the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has advised all cat owners to keep their feline companions inside for the time being.
According to a report by news agency AFP, the extent of the epidemic seemed to deepen on Thursday after authorities made a change in diagnostic methods. The revision added nearly 15,000 patients to Hubei’s count in a single day.
Several countries have banned arrivals from China, while major airlines have halted flights to and from the country.