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Heart Evangelista urges public to care for pets amid coronavirus

/ 01:00 PM March 15, 2020
Heart Evangelista

Image: Instagram/@iamhearte

Heart Evangelista appealed to the public to care for their pets as the confirmed COVID-19 cases rise in the Philippines.

“Just a little reminder to everyone not to abandon your pets during times like this,” the actress said in her Instagram post yesterday, March 14.

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She accompanied her post with a photo of herself snuggling with her pet named Panda. She also shared a poster of an earlier advisory from the World Health Organization regarding pets and the coronavirus.

The WHO stated that “at present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.” But the agency also stated that pet owners should still observe proper hand hygiene when handling pets, to avoid passing “various common bacteria.”

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Despite that previous announcement stating there is no evidence pets can contract the virus, one dog in Hong Kong has already tested positive for it. The said previous advisory has also been removed from WHO’s myth buster page on COVID-19.

The pet, owned by a 60-year-old female patient, had repeatedly tested “weak posi­tive” for COVID-19 since Feb. 28, and has been quarantined in an animal center. Experts from the World Organization for Animal Health unanimously agreed that the dog testing positive “is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission.”

While the dog tested positive, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department explained, “There is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick.”

“Apart from maintaining good hygiene practices, pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets,” a spokesman for the department added.

Evangelista also said that pet owners should “do [their] part and help [the animals] stay clean.”

“Let’s all stay vigilant and do our best to research on how else we can protect ourselves and our loved ones,” she added. “Stay indoors as much as possible, don’t panic, and don’t spread fake news.” JB

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TAGS: coronavirus, covid-19, dogs, Heart Evangelista, novel coronavirus, Pets
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