As the death toll for the novel Coronavirus now named COVID-19, reached over 1,700, China is resorting to extreme measures to control the virus.
While there are people quarantined aboard cruise ships, some people are forced into self-quarantine in their own homes. Pictures from Hubei province in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak shows abandoned and desolate streets. Picture of residents always include mouth masks, as the disease is air-borne and could be transferred by inhaling droplets of an infected person.
As the outbreak gets worse, social media is abuzz with people sharing photos of their pet cats also wearing mouth masks to be sheltered from the disease.
Pictures of the cats show a human-sized mouth mask on cats, with two tiny holes cut out for the eyes, to protect them from the disease.
On both Twitter, and Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo, people are sharing pictures of their cats with face masks.
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Wuhan Coronavirus is very serious now, please wear mask and always wash your hands properly. If you have any symptoms of the coronavirus or even you have a flu, cold, fever, etc go to see a doctor immediately, and also wear a mask, do not spread the disease to others! #wuhanvirus #wuhancoronavirus #cats #masks #catswearingmasks #facemasks #catstagram #catiscute #catslife #catlover #武漢肺炎 #戴口罩 #戴口罩呀 #washhands #勤洗手 #戴口罩勤洗手 #此誠危急存亡之秋也
According to the The World Health Organisation (WHO) there is so far no evidence to suggest pets can be infected with the new strain of coronavirus, which has infected around 43,000 people worldwide.
However, China’s National Health Commission disagrees.
“If pets go out and have contact with an infected person, they have the chance to get infected,” spokesman and epidemiologist Li Lanjuan from China’s National Health Commission told The New York Post.
Sales of specially designed pet masks are also spiking, reports The Sun.