By Luke Ridley
Published: 23/01/2022- 12:05
Updated: 23/01/2022- 14:28
Trending on GB News
Hong Kong authorities said on Sunday one hamster had been surrendered to authorities by pet-owners had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after 2,200 hamsters had been culled as the city grappled to contain an outbreak.
On Tuesday the 18th of January officials ordered the killing of hamsters from dozens of pet shops after tracing a coronavirus outbreak to a worker at a pet shop and asked people to surrender any bought on or after December 22nd.
While a handful of hamsters had already tested positive for the virus, this latest case is the first involving a hamster in the care of a pet-owner that had tested positive.
Despite a public outcry against the hamster crackdown, authorities urged pet-owners to continue to hand over their tiny furry pets given burgeoning health risks.
"(The government) strongly advises members of the public again to surrender ... as soon as possible their hamsters purchased in local pet shops on or after December 22, 2021 for humane dispatch," the government said in a statement.
The government described the outcry as "irrational". Thousands of people have offered to adopt unwanted hamsters.
Meanwhile, officials have warned that COVID-19 infections could be growing exponentially in the congested residential area of Kwai Chung on the Kowloon peninsula, as a second building in the district with two thousand residents was locked down on Saturday (January 22) for five days.
More than 35,000 residents in over a dozen buildings in the area were also ordered to take COVID-19 tests.
However, "zero-COVID" is no closer - 140 new infections were reported in Hong Kong on Sunday - and there are no signs of the government easing those restrictions.