Hong Kong to Kill 2,000 Pets as Chinese Authorities Blame COVID-19 Spread on Imported Animals, Packages

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Hong Kong officials are sidesplitting hamsters by the thousands aft declaring the rodents liable for spreading COVID-19. Meanwhile, successful China’s mainland, the blasted has been enactment connected planetary message packaging.

As 1 of the world’s past large holdouts of a zero-tolerance approach to the virus, China is fanning antithetic theories astir the root of emerging COVID-19 clusters contempt doubts from overseas experts implicit the likelihood of specified claims.

On Jan. 18, Hong Kong ordered 2,000 hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, and different tiny animals to beryllium “humanely” enactment down aft a wellness cheque connected the rodents recovered 11 to transportation the Delta variant of COVID-19. All of them are hamsters imported from the Netherlands, from a section favored store wherever a 23-year-old idiosyncratic had tested affirmative to COVID-19.

While the officials acknowledged there’s nary wide grounds hamsters could transmit the microorganism to humans, they are telling favored owners who bought hamsters from immoderate store successful the metropolis opening Dec. 22 to manus implicit their animals for culling. Those who visited the favored store aft Jan. 7 are taxable to quarantine. All 34 favored stores successful the metropolis that merchantability hamsters are present shuttered, and imports of each tiny mammals person travel to a halt.

covid wellness  hong kong Hong Kong wellness officials participate a favored store to cull pets and disinfect the store, successful Causeway Bay, connected Jan. 18, 2022. (Sung Pilung/The Epoch Times)

Hong Kong’s favored sidesplitting follows containment measures successful Beijing, wherever authorities suggested that the city’s first Omicron case could person arrived via message from Canada.

The city’s wellness officials noted however the archetypal Omicron patient, a 26-year-old woman, who has not traveled extracurricular Beijing recently, handled a parcel sent from Canada via the United States and Hong Kong, earlier processing a sore pharynx 2 days later. They person detected the Omicron variant connected some the extracurricular of the bundle and successful its contents, arsenic good arsenic connected different message samples delivered from the aforesaid origin, the officials said.

Canada’s wellness curate Jean-Yves Duclos called Beijing’s assertion “an bonzer view.”

“This is thing not lone caller but intriguing and surely not successful accordance with what we person done some internationally and domestically fixed what we cognize astir the transmissibility of Omicron,” helium told reporters astatine a Jan. 17 property conference.

Health experts person assessed the risks of microorganism transmitting done contaminated surfaces to beryllium highly low. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that coronavirus successful wide “need a unrecorded carnal oregon quality big to multiply and past and cannot multiply connected the aboveground of nutrient packages.”

Virus Outbreak China A pistillate wearing a disguise to support from the coronavirus looks astatine a parcel adjacent a transportation antheral successful Beijing, China, connected Jan. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Touting the mentation that the microorganism mightiness person travel from determination different than China is hardly caller for the Chinese authorities. In October 2020, Beijing said an outbreak successful the larboard metropolis of Qingdao originated from a shipment of imported cod. In a June outbreak linked to a Beijing wholesale market, officials pointed to frozen salmon from Norway arsenic the cause, citing a illustration connected a cutting committee utilized for processing the food that tested affirmative for COVID-19.

Last July, amid tensions betwixt India and China, Beijing withheld implicit 1,000 containers of Indian shrimp connected the grounds that the packaging allegedly contained microorganism residues.

In a bid to deflect increasing scrutiny connected Beijing’s coverup of the pandemic origins, authorities and authorities media person consistently enactment guardant claims, without credible evidence, that the microorganism originated extracurricular of the country. Following a WHO-China associated microorganism probe successful China’s Wuhan past year, authorities person besides repeatedly called for root tracing efforts to statesman extracurricular of China.

The regime’s pandemic-control actions, though, person besides travel astatine a peculiarly delicate clip for Beijing.

Less than 3 weeks earlier the country’s superior opens the Winter Olympic Games, Beijing and cities crossed China person struggled to stamp retired waves of COVID-19 infections.

Hundreds of Omicron infections person surfaced successful aggregate parts of China adjacent arsenic Delta cases proceed to spike. After the Omicron variant extended its scope to Beijing connected Saturday, Olympic organizers called disconnected summons sales to the wide public, saying the introduction volition beryllium reserved for a targeted radical of spectators only.

Eva Fu

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Eva Fu is simply a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing connected U.S.-China relations, spiritual freedom, and quality rights. Contact Eva at [email protected]