Macao sparing no effort to prevent the spread locally of a new coronavirus

A meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.

The Government has taken a wide range of measures in relation to its disease-control efforts concerning the viral pneumonia outbreak stemming from Wuhan, Hubei Province.

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre today held a meeting to review latest developments concerning the viral pneumonia outbreak, and measures taken in Macao to prevent local spread of the illness.

The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ms Ao Ieong U, who is also the Centre’s vice chairperson, gave more details in a subsequent press conference on Macao’s first imported case. It involves a visitor confirmed to have infection from the newly-identified coronavirus found in the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak.

On Sunday (19 January), the patient concerned – a female tourist visiting from Wuhan – had arrived in Macao via the Border Gate Checkpoint. She spent most of Monday (20 January) at the New Orient Landmark Hotel. She then attended Conde S. Januário Hospital on Tuesday (21 January) seeking medical treatment. The patient had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. She was in a stable condition and was being kept in an isolation ward.

Three people had already been identified as having close contact with the female patient. The three, one male and two females, had been placed in hospital isolation for a 14-day period of medical observation.

Temperature screening had been introduced at all Macao boundary checkpoints, including the airport, land crossings, and ferry terminals. All inbound travellers were being required to complete a health declaration form upon arrival in Macao.

A temperature check had also been imposed at the entrances of all Government-department buildings. In accordance with the Law on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, an order from the Health Bureau would be issued later regarding a compulsory requirement for all employees at casinos to wear a face mask. The aim of the measure was to protect health of casino workers and visitors. In addition, fever-detection equipment had already been installed at the city’s casino resorts.

The Government would not recommend visits to Wuhan by Macao residents, in view of current developments regarding the viral outbreak. Tour visits between Macao and Wuhan would also be suspended.

Meanwhile, the Government was closely monitoring the supply in Macao of protective face masks, and urged the public not to panic-buy such items and to acquire them only for personal use.

The Government issued a reminder that only certain categories of people need to wear a face mask at this stage: employees of public departments involved in providing public services; people that have frequent contact with tourists; people entering medical institutions; and people with existing fever, cough or other symptoms of respiratory illness.

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