Macau’s Health Bureau said on Friday that traces of legionella bacteria were still found at casino resort Parisian Macao (pictured). The bureau added that it had requested the property’s operator to address the issue “in the shortest time frame possible” and to “continuously monitor the concentration of legionella bacteria in the water supply systems”.
Friday’s press release stated that the hotel “must also adopt strict prevention measures that can efficiently reduce the risk of legionella infection” among its customers and employees.
The Parisian Macao, developed and operated by Sands China Ltd, was linked in April by the Health Bureau to three confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease. The bureau has since conducted regular inspections to water samples at the Parisian Macao to monitor the situation regarding legionella bacteria.
Sands China told GGRAsia in a statement on Saturday that the Parisian Macao continued “to be in full operation” despite the positive test results involving some of the latest samples. The firm added it was “confident” that all water supplies were “completely safe and pose no risk to guests or visitors to the property”.
The Health Bureau’s Friday statement said traces of legionella bacteria had been found at several public areas of the property in its most recent tests, conducted between October 17 and 25.
“The results show the contamination by legionella bacteria of the hotel room water supply system has been eliminated; however, the water supply system for the public areas [of the property] still shows a few focuses of contamination by legionella bacteria,” the Health Bureau stated.
The statement added that some water samples – collected respectively in a bathroom of the shopping mall, the changing room area of the property’s swimming pool, the changing room of outdoor water park “Aqua World” and in a bathroom of an undisclosed restaurant – had tested positive for legionella bacteria.
More than 20 samples showed levels above the detection limit of 10 colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/ml), said the Health Bureau. The maximum level detected was of 135.1 CFU/ml, it added.
Legionnaire’s disease is a serious lung infection caused by legionella bacteria. Such bacteria can occur in water tanks, cooling towers, spas and water fountains.
Sands China told GGRAsia in its Saturday email: “In order to meet and exceed water quality standards, the company has been rigorously following sets of policies and procedures on a daily basis. Sands China will continue to work closely with the Health Bureau to ensure compliance with all its prescribed guidelines and standards.”
The gaming operator added that it had “introduced improvements to its water systems, and results of tests conducted by an independent testing laboratory show that all samples fall within international guidelines.”
Several international guidelines recommend the introduction of corrective measures if levels of legionella bacteria above 10 CFU/ml are detected. Emergency measures such as system decontamination or closure of facilities are usually required for levels equal or above 1,000 CFU/ml.
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”They want us to invest as well. The government there wants to see growth in Macau. We are not that concerned about that issue [licence renewal] at all”
Chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands