Chinese pet owners have been purchasing special protective facemasks for dogs after it was reported that the coronavirus has now claimed the lives of 170 people.
According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, a flurry of panic-buying has ignited in Asia, after an expert in infectious diseases warned that pets could also be infected by the outbreak.
Zhou Tianxiao, a Beijing-based online retailer, now claims that he is selling 10 times the number of special masks for dogs on the Chinese e-commerce site Taobao, with his sales volume soaring from 150 masks per month to at least 50 pieces a day.
In an interview with The Mail, Tianxiao stated: "Most [dogs] have started to wear [masks]. Because there is this virus, people pay more attention to their health and their pets' health."
He added: "[The dog masks] might not be as professional as the medical masks made for humans, but they are functional. Their main purposes are to block out smog, stop dogs from eating or licking food on the floor and prevent them from being exposed to the virus."
On January 29, Professor Li Lanjuan of China's National Health Commission told the state broadcaster CCTV: "In this epidemic season, pet owners should strengthen the management of their pets."
She added: "If your dogs run around outside and come to contact with the outbreak or people infected with the virus, then your pets should also be put in quarantine. Because the epidemic spreads between mammals, therefore we should take precautions against other mammals."
However, according to the World Health Organization, no evidence has suggested that cats and dogs are susceptible to the coronavirus.Recently a young doctor was seen breaking down from the stress of dealing with the coronavirus cases:
Per BBC News, Chinese authorities have officially confirmed 7,711 cases of Coronavirus in the country as of January 29, with a total of 170 deaths so far...