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Keep hygiene at all times if not able to keep distance from pets: Health DG

KUALA LUMPUR (April 6): Pet owners are advised to observe good hygiene practices when handling their pets if they are unable to distance themselves from their animals, said health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said this in a Facebook post amid concerns that animals could also be infected with the novel coronavirus that caused Covid-19.

“For animal lovers, pets are considered as part of their family. If we are unable to keep a distance from animals and pets, it is important to keep hygiene at all times,” he explained.

He advised the public to wash their hands before and after handling animals or animal waste.

He added that the Ministry of Health (MoH) will work closely with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) for further advice on this matter.

His posting came after Reuters had reported earlier today that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, the US, had contracted Covid-19 from an asymptomatic caretaker.

The four-year-old Malayan tiger Nadia is the first known animal to be infected with the novel coronavirus in the US.

Nadia and a number of other big cats came down with dry cough, but they are expected to make a full recovery.

Malaysia recorded 131 new confirmed infections as of noon today, bringing the tally to 3,793 cases. The death toll is now at 62 after one more death was reported.

Selangor remains the state with the highest number of infections, with 970 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (640), Johor (468) and Sabah (240).

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