(Fighting against New Coronary Pneumonia) 18 new cases in Hong Kong, hamster samples from pet stores are initially positive

  China News Service, Hong Kong, January 18 (Reporter Han Xingtong) The Hong Kong SAR government held a briefing on the epidemic on the 18th and announced that as of 0:00 on the 18th, there were 18 new positive cases of new coronary pneumonia in Hong Kong.

Causeway Bay pet store Little Boss and its warehouse in Tai Po are suspected of spreading the virus, which has infected staff, customers and their families successively. 11 hamster samples in the store were initially positive.

  There were 18 new cases, including 7 imported cases and 11 local infections, and 16 of the total cases involved mutated virus strains.

  A 23-year-old woman who works at Little Boss, a pet store in Causeway Bay, has tested positive for the delta virus.

Another 67-year-old female customer was diagnosed on the same day.

Zhang Zhujun, director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, said that the female patient is a retiree and lives in Aberdeen with four family members. Her daughter bought a hamster from the shop and the two arrived on the 8th. The store exchanged for cages and food, which was received by the confirmed staff at that time.

At present, the woman's husband has tested positive.

  The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) and the Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government have successively seized more than 600 environmental and animal samples, including hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, etc., from Little Boss and its warehouse in Tai Po.

Chen Zhaoshi, Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, announced at a briefing on the same day that the results of some samples are still unknown, but 11 samples collected from Little Boss hamsters have been initially positive, and some environmental samples from Tai Po warehouses have also been positive. .

  The Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Leung Shiu-fai, said that the AFCD will take a series of preventive measures, including immediately stopping the import of all small mammals (including hamsters) into Hong Kong, and reviewing the import quarantine requirements for such animals. There are pet shops selling hamsters in Hong Kong. must be closed immediately.

  Liang Zhaohui pointed out that according to records, two batches of hamsters were imported on December 22 last year and January 7 this year. It is believed that these two batches of hamsters are at higher risk of infection. He appealed to all those who bought hamsters in Hong Kong on or after December 22 last year. people, hand over the hamster to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for humane treatment.

He added that in addition to Little Boss and its Tai Po warehouse, there are about 34 pet shops selling hamsters in Hong Kong, and it is estimated that the AFCD has to deal with about 2,000 hamsters and small animals.

  Xu Lejian, director of the CHP, pointed out that the CHP suspects that there are at least 2 transmission possibilities in the pet shop. One is that the confirmed staff has been in close contact with customers. Therefore, the CHP has traced that the staff has been in contact with about 150 customers since January 7. , the person concerned must be quarantined at the quarantine center; secondly, the center is investigating the cause of animal infection, and direct or indirect animal-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out.

  The other 9 cases are close contacts of a 43-year-old Pakistani woman who was confirmed earlier and stayed at the Silka Seaview Hotel in Hong Kong, involving 2 families, including a 16-year-old boy who attended the Sisters Memorial School (Broadway) in Moftelia. A classmate was initially diagnosed.

  There were more than 10 preliminary positive cases that day, including 1 case of unknown local origin, involving a 26-year-old woman who lives with her family in Mei Foo Sun Chuen Phase 3. She is a kindergarten teacher and her last work date is January 5. .