The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, held a meeting on Saturday (15 January) via videoconference with officials in Zhuhai in order to exchange views on epidemic control measures implemented in the two places, and the response to the new COVID-19 cases detected in places near to Macao.
During the meeting, the Secretary of the Zhuhai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mr Lu Yuyin, reported on the latest situation in Zhuhai regarding a fresh round of epidemic control and prevention work.
Mr Ho mentioned Zhuhai’s timely response and effective measures to control the risk of new COVID-19 cases spreading further, saying such effort had also ensured the safety of Macao, as the two cities were closely connected.
Zhuhai had initiated immediately its contingency plan and put in place effective steps, following new COVID-19 cases detected in Nanping Town, in Zhuhai’s Xiangzhou District, Mr Ho noted. Such work illustrated the smooth operation of the Zhuhai-Macao joint prevention and control mechanism, Mr Ho added.
Macao would continue to cooperate fully with Zhuhai regarding the latter’s implementation of epidemic control and response measures, and the two sides would stay in close communication, said Mr Ho. He stated he was confident that Zhuhai was capable of solving the issues it faced now.
The Chief Executive additionally said that the day-to-day lives of around 6,200 people in Macao had been directly affected by the new COVID-19 cases recorded in nearby places, namely in Tanzhou Town in Zhongshan and in Nanping Town in Zhuhai. Those Macao people had seen their Macao Health Code status turn to ‘yellow’, with 1,043 of them each either being required to undergo medical observation in Macao, to self-isolate at home or to observe other special control measures, i.e., taking two nucleic acid tests within the space of three days.
Over the past two years, the fight against COVID-19 and epidemic prevention and control work had become part of everyday life, Mr Ho said. Since the end of 2021 through to the beginning of this year, there had been a re-emergence of COVID-19, with new cases recorded in several cities on the mainland. They had all been well controlled, thanks to the use of a scientific approach. The experience that cities on the mainland had gained in combatting the disease acted as a reference point for any new outbreak, especially the practice of district- and risk-specific planning.
During his briefing, Secretary Lu said Zhuhai had immediately conducted a mass nucleic-acid testing exercise after a COVID-19 case had been detected in Zhongshan. Zhuhai’s area-specific mass testing covered 510,000 people in four areas neighbouring Tanzhou Town and had resulted as of this morning, in seven people testing ‘positive’ for COVID-19, all with the Omicron variant. One case involved a person showing symptoms, and six involved people who were asymptomatic. Further action was taken during Friday (14 January), involving Zhuhai conducting nucleic-acid testing for the entire city. Of the 1.95 million samples collected, some 1.81 million (93.96 percent) had already been assessed as ‘negative’ for COVID-19 infection, Mr Lu said.
Currently, only Nanping Town in Zhuhai was categorised as a restricted zone. The incidence of the disease had generally remained under control, said Mr Lu.
After the Macao-Zhuhai meeting, the Chief Executive received a briefing from those bodies within the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government involved in epidemic control duties. Mr Ho directed them to optimise their environmental assessment and district-based management approach in the context of epidemic control measures now being a part of everyday life. Mr Ho had additionally asked the officials concerned to follow the principle of a stringent, precise, science-based approach to formulating disease control measures. The Government’s anti-epidemic measures had to be even more finely tuned in future, the Chief Executive added.
Macao officials present for the videoconference included: the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Mr Cheong Weng Chon; the Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak; the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ms Ao Ieong U; the Commissioner General of the Unitary Police Service, Mr Leong Man Cheong; the Director General of the Macao Customs, Mr Vong Man Chong; and the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms Hoi Lai Fong.
Officials representing Zhuhai present for the videoconference included: the Director of Guangdong’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Mr Li Huanchun; and Deputy Secretary of the CPC Zhuhai Municipal Committee and Mayor of Zhuhai, Mr Huang Zhihao.View gallery