SEOUL, March 9 (Korea Bizwire) — Many people are inquiring online about the safety of going out to walk their pets following the coronavirus outbreak.
Pet owners became particularly concerned after a puppy in Hong Kong was reportedly infected with the coronavirus. “I am concerned that my dog can get sick with the coronavirus,” one netizen said.
While experts argue that there is a minimal chance of the coronavirus being transmitted from humans to animals, online communities are showing distrust to the argument.
“There is a confirmed case of coronavirus transmitted from a human to an animal. How can we believe what the experts are saying?” another netizen said.
Others point out that an increasing number of human-to-animal infections can lead to animal abuse or abandonment.
“It is very difficult for viruses to jump over different species, so the chances of human-to-animal transmission is minimal,” said Prof. Min Won-ki from Gyeongsang National University.
Pets with a solitary guardian are exposed to the risk of being neglected if the guardian is quarantined due to the coronavirus.
In recent days, a petition was raised on the website of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, asking the government to help pets exposed to the risk of their guardians being quarantined due to the coronavirus.
“Pets are like family,” said the petitioner. “We need proper measures for pets when their guardians are placed under quarantine.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)