Amid the deepening Coronavirus cases around the globe, reports of pets being abadandoned in Turkey emerged. An Animal Rights activist told an international news media organisation that there has been a 20% hike in the abandonment of pets.
Apart from owners abandoning their pets, reports of street animals starving in the country due to lack of enough food was also reported. Middle East Eye alleged the misconceptions peddled by Turkish media, that Coronavirus can be passed on from animal-to-human contact for the cause of a massive spike in abandonment.
Turkey said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has surpassed 15,000 and the virus has now spread to all of the country's 81 provinces. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca also told reporters on Wednesday that 63 more patients have died of the virus, raising the death toll in Turkey to 277.
Coronavirus has caused major concern among the people who own pets. There are several reports that have been released by WHO regarding the safety of pets. On March 12, 2020, The WHO told Quartz in an email that, “currently, there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have infected humans with COVID-19 or can pet get coronavirus."
The revised stance comes in the wake of an infected dog being found in Hong Kong. The dog tested positive after remaining with its owners who were sick with the virus. The dog wasn’t showing any clinical signs of the disease, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health. There’s no evidence that dogs can spread the disease or that the disease can cause an animal to fall ill, the organization says, though further studies may bring new findings regarding 'can dogs get coronavirus'.
World organization for Animal Health advises pet owners infected or susceptible to being infected with the coronavirus to avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the household care for the animals. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible.