The Macau government announced on Thursday that no new cases of Covid-19 infection were detected locally following completion of a third city-wide mass-testing operation.
The local authorities had decided to test the entire population for Covid-19 after four new cases were detected in Macau, involving the more infectious Delta variant of the virus. The new cases were all classified by the local health authorities as imported-related infections.
The mass testing operation was completed at 9am on Thursday. A total of 681,579 people was tested for Covid-19 as part of the scheme, with all of them returning negative results, according to the local authorities.
During a press conference held on Thursday, the coordinator of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, Leong Iek Hou, said the Macau government’s ‘zero case’ policy for Covid-19 is to remain until the city’s vaccination rate reaches at least 80 percent.
“Although some countries have adopted a different approach and have a policy of co-existing with the virus, such measure is dependent on not having a large number of serious cases or virus-related deaths,” said Ms Leong. Places that have adopted such policy “have vaccination rates that range between 80 percent and 90 percent, especially among the elderly and people with chronic diseases,” she noted.
“Macau will only have conditions to implement such a measure once it increases its vaccination rate” above 80 percent, she stated.
According to Macau’s health authorities, as of 4pm on Sunday (October 3), an aggregate of 313,997 people in Macau was fully vaccinated against Covid-19, roughly about 50 percent of the local population.
Ms Leong also said that the current 21-days quarantine for arrivals from overseas would remain, even for inbound travellers that have taken the two doses of a vaccine against Covid-19.
Macau has stricter controls on anyone inbound via foreign countries, with effect from Thursday. Those aged 12 or over must present either a certificate proving that they have completed “the whole course of Covid-19 vaccination,” at least 14 days prior to travel, or a certificate proving they are unfit for such vaccination. In addition, they are required to present proof of a Covid-19 nucleic acid test ‘negative’ result issued within 48 hours.
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