CM Uddhav Thackeray's pet dog's handler tests COVID-19 positive

Updated: Jun 02, 2020, 07:55 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

But it can pass from humans to animals and is curable with some antibiotics. As the handler tested positive, the animal he looks after must be tested

The Thackeray family members are animal lovers and the chief minister has had many pets
The Thackeray family members are animal lovers and the chief minister has had many pets

The handler of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's pet dog tested positive for COVID-19, after which the CM's personal residence, Matoshree, and the locality is being regularly sanitised. The close contacts of the handler and other staff at the bungalow were tested and most of the reports were negative. While it's not clear whether the CM and his family were tested, they have been advised to take necessary precautions.

According to sources, the handler has been looking after the dog for many years. The dog roams in the Matoshree bungalow due to which the CM's family was asked to take necessary precautions, however, none of the family members came in direct contact with the handler.

Assistant Commissioner of H East ward, Ashok Khairnar said, "One person tested positive for COVID-19 and was shifted to a hospital, every staff members who works in Matoshree and his close contacts have been tested, almost every report came negative but few reports are awaited. As precautionary measure the area is being sanitised on a daily basis. Nobody from the CM's family will be home quarantined as none of them came in direct contact with the person." The chief minister's pet, a type of toller dog, has not been tested for COVID-19, as there is no evidence so far of an animal getting infected with this virus. However, there have been some cases in other countries where animals were infected with the virus. Recently a dog in Hong Kong was found positive, as also were tigers in a zoo in the USA.

"As of now there is no literature available saying the virus can be transmitted from animals to humans or that they are carriers. But it can pass from humans to animals and is curable with some antibiotics. As the handler tested positive, the animal he looks after must be tested. If the dog tests positive, it cannot transmit the disease to humans," Senior Veterinarian Dr JC Khanna said.

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