The deadly coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, is said to have emerged from a food market in Wuhan, China, where a variety of exotic wild animals like pangolins, porcupines, bats, dogs, snakes, scorpions, snails and rodents were being sold. While the people in China are known for their consumption of different wild animals, they are now hitting the headlines for the love towards their pet animals.
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Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, many pet owners in China are concerned that their dear ones may also be at the risk of infection if they get in contact with an infected person. "If pets go out and have contact with an infected person, they have the chance to get infected. By then, pets need to be isolated. In addition to people, we should be careful with other mammals especially pets," an epidemiologist Li Lanjuan told, reported The Sun.
However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no evidence that shows pets are getting infected with the new strain of coronavirus, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 1,300 humans.
Though experts claim that you won't get or give the coronavirus to your family pet, many Chinese pet lovers are trying to take preventive measures to protect their loved ones from catching the virus. While some have used pet masks, others have even made protective outfits using socks, paper cups, shower cups, plastic bags and sheets for their animals.
Interesting protective gear for pets
The heart-warming images of these masked animals that have surfaced online are sure to melt your hearts even if you aren't an animal lover. Most of them, uploaded on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging website, have gone viral with more and more users sharing the photos of their pets wearing innovative protective gear.
One cat owner has tried to protect her pet by covering its whole face with a human-sized surgical mask with two holes to let it see. Meanwhile, the photo of a canine with full-body protection using a mask, shower cup, two plastic bags and a piece of soft fabric has also started doing the rounds on social media. Another Chinese woman has made a temporary mask for her pet using a paper cup and a piece of string.
Meanwhile, the video of an old man walking with his dog wearing a mask on a transport roller has garnered nearly 50,000 views on Twitter. "won't even let his dog walk on the dirty ground! This man loves his best friend. If he were to eat him, he'd be in a cage ... I say he loves him. At least, give me some hope that there are good people out there out of this tragedy (sic)," commented a Twitter user.
Pet mask sale is booming in China
The latest reports also suggest that the sale of pet masks is sky-rocketing in China in the wake of the virus outbreak. "Most [dogs] have started to wear [masks]. Because there is this virus, people pay more attention to their health and their pets' health,' said Beijing-based online seller Zhou Tianxiao to MailOnline. The 33-year-old is said to be selling the masks at the price of 49 yuan (Â£5.4) for a pack of three.
Check out the pictures of masked animals below: