South Korea’s capital, Seoul, on Tuesday announced that it will give pet dogs and cats free coronavirus tests in case they come in contact with an infected member and begin to show symptoms. Seoul’s official, Park Yoo-mi, told an online briefing that the health authorities are ready to conduct the COVID-19 tests on pets for free and will isolate those animals that depict symptomatic infection, sending them under a 14-day quarantine in a government facility. “Seoul metropolitan government will offer coronavirus tests for pet dogs and cats," Yoo-mi, Seoul city’s official handling disease control, told a press conference.
Last week, Seoul released the guidelines for getting pets tested for coronavirus after a cat in the south-eastern city of Jinju was found covid positive, according to the sources of the Associated Press. The feline was a pet to a woman and his daughter from Jinju religious facility, where an outbreak occurred. Starting Monday, South Korea initiated efforts to test the animals, even as there is little scientific evidence that the virus could be transmitted from humans to the animals. On Jan 24, Seoul registered its first official confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in an animal, after the cat was found to have mild body temperature. Seoul metropolitan government announced that the health officials, including veterinarians, will conduct tests near the animal's homes, effective February 8.
Earlier, similarly, a snow leopard in Kentucky, United States tested positive for COVID-19. The female big cat contracted the SARS-CoV-2 after coming in contact with a COVID-19 positive human. Meanwhile, two other male snow leopards were tested for the disease at Louisville zoo after they showed mild symptoms, the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service informed in a release. The predatory animals were reported to have symptomatic infection and had temperature, including dry cough and wheezing. All three snow leopards were tested at a regional veterinary diagnostic centre, the zoo facilities informed in a statement. A female leopard named NeeCee got the positive diagnosis first, followed by the males testing positive. "This is the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a snow leopard," the authorities said.