Task Force asks people to not panic if pets are infected with COVID-19

Task Force asks people to not panic if pets are infected with COVID-19

Screenshot - Chairman of the Expert Team for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, when delivering a report on the progress of handling COVID-19 which was monitored virtually from BNPB's YouTube, on Tuesday (8/3/2021). (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Spokesperson for the COVID-19 Task Force Wiku Adisasmito asked the public to not panic if their pets are infected with COVID-19.

"People with pets are advised to not panic and continue taking care of them," said Adisasmito during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

There is no evidence that animals exposed to COVID-19 can transmit the disease to humans.

"It is important to understand that, so far, there is no evidence suggesting that animals infected with COVID-19 can transmit the virus to humans," Adisasmito added.

Since the start of the pandemic, several countries reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals, including to wildlife, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Globally, there are currently 500 cases of COVID-19 in 10 species in 30 countries.

"Therefore, avoid contact with pets infected with COVID-19, reduce animal contact with people who have not been vaccinated, and bring animals to the veterinarian if they shows symptoms of infection," he stressed.

His statement was made following confirmed COVID-19 infections in two Sumatran tigers at the Ragunan Wildlife Park (TMR) South Jakarta, named Hari and Tino, on July 15, 2021.

Before testing positive, the animal nurse in Ragunan had observed, since July 9, 2021, that the two animals looked sick and showed symptoms of COVID-19, such as flu, weakness and shortness of breath.

The TMR team then carried out a swab and sent the results to the Biotechnology Laboratory of the Primate Animal Study Center at Bogor Agricultural University.

The test results showed that Hari and Tino were infected with COVID-19, so both had to be isolated in a cage with adequate supplies of food and medicine during the recovery process.

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