The Macao Government has dispatched a team of officials to Wuhan, Hubei Province, in order for them to learn more about the latest developments regarding a pneumonia outbreak in that mainland city, particularly appropriate treatment for infected patients, and measures to prevent or if necessary control the spread of the identified coronavirus.
The team of three officials is visiting Wuhan between 13 and 14 January. The National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China is arranging the visit.
The Health Bureau’s Public Health Laboratory already has diagnostic tests that can detect if a patient has been infected with the pathogen identified in the Wuhan outbreak. Since Sunday (12 January), all patients suspected of having symptoms of pneumonia – and whose preliminary test results exclude the possibility of regular influenza – are being submitted to these diagnostic tests.
The Government additionally received on Sunday a notice from the National Health Commission stating that the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus associated with the viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, had been released through the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.
The Government is paying close attention to the latest developments regarding the viral pneumonia cases that have occurred in Wuhan and has taken several measures to minimise the risk of such cases having any impact on Macao.
During the period from 5pm on 11 January to 5pm on 12 January, a 22-year-old male sought medical treatment at Kiang Wu Hospital after returning to Macao from a trip to Wuhan. The patient suffered from chills and fever. Results from preliminary tests proved negative for common respiratory virus infections, with no signs of pneumonia. The patient has been sent to Conde S. Januário Hospital for observation and further tests.
Since 1 January, the Government has been informed by local medical institutions about a total of 10 illness cases, each involving a patient with fever and respiratory problems, and that had been in Wuhan in the previous 14 days. Tests had shown eight patients were not infected by the Wuhan pneumonia virus; two patients remain in isolation for further testing.
The Government remains in close contact with the National Health Commission regarding the latest news on the viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. Meanwhile, Macao continues to advance local preparedness regarding response to a potential viral outbreak, including a uniform level of training – in relation to control of infectious disease and procedures of handling suspicious cases – for medical professionals; and ensuring there is sufficient reserve supply of medication, medical consumables, and equipment, as well as adequate facilities to accommodate related work.
Members of the public have no cause for alarm regarding the Wuhan outbreak. Nonetheless, a heightened level of awareness should be displayed by members of the public and greater attention given to the maintenance of personal and environmental hygiene.
The Government issues a reminder to Macao residents either working, studying or living in Wuhan, to remain vigilant and to:
- pay greater attention to the maintenance of personal, environmental and food hygiene;
- avoid contact with people who have fever or symptoms related to respiratory diseases;
- avoid visiting hospitals in Wuhan and people infected with the virus;
- avoid contact with poultry and other animals;
- wear disposable surgical face masks when necessary;
- after returning to Macao, seek medical treatment immediately and report details of travel history, if respiratory symptoms such as fever and cough develop after travel;
- pay close attention to the latest news issued by the Macao Government regarding the Wuhan viral pneumonia outbreak and take heed of the suggested preventive measures.
Any questions from the public on this topic while they are in Macao should be directed to the Health Bureau on +853 2870 0800. Alternatively, the public can visit the Bureau’s website: www.ssm.gov.mo/csr to seek further information.