South Korea Launches Covid Test For Cats & Dogs

Covid Cat

Pet cats and dogs in South Korea’s capital city are to be tested for Covid-19 if they have any of the symptoms, the Seoul metropolitan government said.

Only pets that start showing symptoms after being exposed to human carriers of the virus will be tested.

If it tests positive, the animal must quarantine at home.

BBC reports: It is not necessary for the pet to be sent into an isolation facility as there is no evidence Covid-19 can be spread between humans and pets, said Park Yoo-mi, a disease control official at a virtual press briefing, according to a Yonhap report.

But if the pet’s owners are hospitalised with Covid-19, or are too ill or too old to take care of it, the pet will be taken into quarantine at a city-run facility.

In South Korea, human patients with Covid-19 are generally put in quarantine facilities if they do not need hospital treatment.

Ms Park reminded residents to keep their pets “at least two metres away from people and other pets when walking them”.

Earlier last month, a kitten that was found at a religious facility in the southeastern city of Jinju was found to be infected, according to Yonhap news.

Health authorities suspect that a mother and daughter, who were staying at the facility, had passed the virus on to the kitten. Both have tested positive for Covid-19.

Experts had previously said it was highly unlikely that a dog or cat could transmit the virus to people, though research has shown that cats may be able to carry the virus and pass it on to other cats.