20th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) A pet shop worker has earlier been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, and the samples collected from the hamsters at the pet shop and environmental swabs collected from its warehouse in Tai Po have been tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The animals concerned have been humanely dispatched by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to minimise as soon as possible the potential risks of virus transmission in Hong Kong. The HKSAR Government strongly condemns the sending of intimidating messages as received by some members of the Government’s anti-epidemic expert advisory group after their explanation of the situation to the public.
The two government experts who received intimidating messages are Professor David Hui, a government expert consultant and chair professor of the Department of Respiratory System of the Chinese University and Professor Yuen Kwok–yung of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong.
A spokesman for the Chief Executive’s Office today said that the decision and operation of the HKSAR Government were based on scientific principles and Hong Kong’s actual circumstances to safeguard public safety. Hong Kong is now facing a challenging epidemic situation, with the imminent threat of both the Delta and Omicron mutant strains spreading in the community. It is of paramount importance to take decisive action to prevent the virus from further spreading in the community. The Government strongly condemns the irrational attitude adopted towards the anti-epidemic efforts, and worse still, intimidating remarks made against the experts, by a minority of people. It calls on all sectors of society to unite to fight the epidemic.
“Hong Kong is a society that observes the rule of law. It will not tolerate such illegal acts as violence and intimidation. Over the past two years, members of the Government’s anti-epidemic expert advisory group have been providing the Government with professional advice in such areas as public health, epidemiology and clinical experience with science and theories as the basis amid the fight against the virus. The HKSAR Government is much grateful for their contributions. If anyone attempts to influence the words and efforts of the experts by illegal means, the HKSAR Government will not tolerate such acts and will take stringent follow-up action,” the spokesman said.