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Cats were seen roaming the streets of Beirut on Wednesday, amid an increase in pets being abandoned by their owners on the streets of Lebanese cities after a TV network reported on Saturday that the animals could transmit COVID-19 to humans.
The report by Murr Television has been taken off social media after experts and animal activists dismissed the claim as false. After a dog was tested “weak positive” in Hong Kong, the World Health Organisation has announced that there is “no evidence” that cats and dogs can spread coronavirus.
“The World Health Organisation for the Animals also says that the infection is transmited from human to human. There are no studies stating the opposite and I appeal to all people to listen only to these sources”, said Maggie Shaarawi from the NGO Animals Lebanon.
“The situation in Lebanon is bad,” Shaarawi added.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) corroborated the WHO by reportedly stating that “there’s no reason to think pets might be a source of infection.”
Animals Lebanon has claimed that, on top of the fear of being infected with the novel virus, people are also abandoning their pets because the costs of keeping them have risen substantially due to the ongoing economic crisis.
There are 463 confirmed cases of people infected by COVID-19 in Lebanon and 12 deaths.
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