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New Hong Kong Covid News Update 2022: Public Filled with Anger and Anxiety as Hamsters are Euthanized

In recent Hong Kong Covid News, the public was aghast upon the euthanization of covid-positive hamsters.

Hong Kong Covid news—After discovering a preliminary positive case of the Delta Covid-19 variation in the community, health officials in Hong Kong issued an alert on Sunday warning of the possibility of silent community transmission chains.

According to the Center for Health Protection (CHP), a 23-year-old woman who works at a pet shop in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, has been diagnosed with a high viral load, according to the Center for Health Protection (CHP). They assumed she had the Delta strain, which has been very rare in the city recently, because of the symptoms she was displaying. On Tuesday, an Aberdeen clinic received samples from the woman Saturday after she suffered symptoms such as a runny nose and a sore throat. Still, she didn’t seek medical attention until Saturday. According to the Department of Health, she received two doses of the Sinovac vaccination on August 21 and September 16 of last year.

Before having symptoms, the pet shop employee had eaten at three restaurants and stayed at a hotel in Wan Chai for one night. Only a few of her close friends, family members, colleagues, and diners were quarantined in total.

“There could be another source of infection,” CHP Communicable Disease Branch chief Chuang Shuk-Kwan said during a Covid-19 briefing on Sunday, noting that the new case was infected by a different strain than recently confirmed instances of Omicron.

Chuang said there are “invisible transmission channels” in the community if there are untraced local instances. “We haven’t found them yet.” We may be at risk of an exponential increase in case numbers if we detect these instances too late or if she had been to high-risk or populated locations and transmitted the disease. When reporters asked Chuang if the Department of Health would be looking into whether the sickness had moved from a pet to humans, he said, “Yes.”

The patient’s address in Aberdeen was placed under a nighttime lockdown and mandatory testing by the authorities. A total of 55 people were given the test, and the results came back negative in all cases.

This was the city’s second case of an undetected local Covid-19 infection as of Monday. A 58-year-old store worker was the subject of the other case, in which genome sequencing revealed connections to a previously reported imported Omicron case. Still, officials were unable to determine how the patient contracted the virus.

Hamsters Euthanized in Hong Kong Covid News

Public health specialists in Hong Kong have supported the government’s decision to kill 2,000 hamsters and other small animals because of concerns about the Covid-19 virus, saying the move is in the general public’s best interest. David Hui, a respiratory disease expert, stated that the odds of the virus moving from hamsters to humans is “extremely high,” even though there has been no evidence of animal-to-human transmission since the pandemic began more than two years ago.

“The hamsters are the responsibility of the shopkeepers, and they can become infected through hamster droplets and secretions, he said.

According to Hui, “it’s impossible to examine each [hamster] separately.” “From the standpoint of public health, the entire batch must be euthanized.”

According to the government, a Little Boss pet shop employee has been linked to an epidemic of an unidentified disease that has killed 2,000 hamsters and other tiny animals.

On Monday, it was verified that a 23-year-old female shop employee had the Delta Covid-19 version. According to early results, a woman who visited the shop earlier this month was also affected, and her husband has tested positive for the disease. At the Little Boss branch in Causeway Bay, the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) evaluated 125 samples from 78 animals. Of those, eleven were positive, and they were all taken from hamsters.

PetSmart warehouse in Tai Po, Hong Kong, where chinchilla and other small animals are housed and cared for, was also infested with Covid by environmental swabs.

As Hui speculated, “it seems likely that the hamsters were first infected in the warehouse and subsequently the disease spread outside.” There was no evidence that the infected employee of Little Boss, a franchise with 14 locations, had ever visited the warehouse in Tai Po.

Hamsters, easily infected, are frequently employed in laboratory trials to study Covid-19.

Hong Kong Covid News: Respect For Life

On a Commercial Radio show on Wednesday, leading microbiologist Yuen Kwok-Yung suspected the hamsters from Little Boss, which were imported from the Netherlands, were either infected by people there or after arriving in Hong Kong.

“The virus was able to infect people because the number of sick hamsters was so great,” Yuen explained.

“Doctors value all life, but you have to decide as to what is best for everyone when you combat the pandemic and public health,” he continued. A high number of hamsters were deemed “unwelcome” because of the AFCD’s inability and lack of resources to quarantine, care for, and test them.

He added that this decision would not be necessary if all Hong Kong residents were immunized. Seventy percent or more of people have gotten the most recent Covid-19 vaccinations. However, less than 20% of persons over the age of 80 had received a double jab.

Meanwhile

Six people have been infected by a suspected outbreak at a quarantined hotel in Yau Ma Tei, raising fears of local transmissions.

Four days after finishing her 21-day quarantine in room 1206, the Silka Seaview Hotel, a 43-year-old woman who returned to Hong Kong from Pakistan on December 20 tested preliminary positive on Friday. The CHP confirmed it on Sunday. Chuang reported that the woman’s husband and four children had been out and about since she returned home but that the patient herself had remained indoors.

Two males who stayed at the hotel’s room 1205 on the same floor tested positive for the drug on January 6.

When two persons from a neighboring room were found to have the flu earlier in the week, the hotel’s fourth-floor guest tested positive on January 10.

According to Albert Au, CHP’s chief medical and health officer, DNA sequencing results for the three patients who stayed on the fourth floor were remarkably similar, and inter-hotel transmission was suspected.

Leading Hong Kong microbiologist Yuen Kwok-Yung visited the hotel on Sunday and found that smoke tests had shown that air might move from room 1205 to room 1206. “If the guest was carrying the virus, it is feasible that the infection is released to the corridor and spread to other rooms when [the guest] opens the door,” he said. Yuen also noted that the hotel’s hallway air purifiers were not always running at total capacity, resulting in insufficient air ventilation and the risk of cross-infections between rooms.

There were no issues with the hotel’s measures or drainage, and hence it could continue to act as a quarantine facility after ventilation improvements were made.

The quarantine time for Silka Seaview Hotel customers who slept in rooms adjacent to known cases would be extended. However, health chief Sophia Chan said the hotel could still operate following quarantine standards.

As of Sunday, there were 13,041 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the city and 213 deaths.

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