The Macau government announced that from 3.30pm on Tuesday (August 3) the region had entered “immediate pandemic prevention” mode, in light of an “extremely high” risk of a community outbreak of Covid-19, after four locals from the same family tested positive for the illness.
The local authorities also announced that they will begin testing the entire population on Wednesday (August 4), after the fresh positive coronavirus cases were confirmed as involving the more infectious Delta virus variant. A total of 41 testing stations will be set up across the city, including in a number of casino resorts.
Earlier in the day, a press conference of the city’s Novel Coronavirus Coordination and Response Centre, heard that a daughter in the family was thought to be the first infected – the authorities suspect while travelling by air on July 19 from Zhuhai in Guangdong on the mainland, to Xi’an in central China. She returned to Macau on July 25, and her case has been classified as “imported”.
The three other members of the family, including her mother and father, have also been classified as having “import-related” infection. None of the four had been in a Macau casino resort during the relevant time period, the press conference heard.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said in a Tuesday note that it was “unlikely” that Macau casinos would be “closed temporarily unless there is a widespread outbreak.”
From 3.30pm on Tuesday, anyone wishing to leave Macau is required to submit a certificate issued within 24 hours of departure, showing a ‘negative’ result for Covid-19 infection, the city’s government said in an earlier press release.
Authorities in the neighbouring city of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, announced late on Tuesday that starting from 6am on Wednesday, people travelling between Zhuhai and Macau would to need to present a certificate issued within 12 hours of departure, showing a ‘negative’ result for Covid-19. The new measure excludes people working in the logistics industry, stated the announcement.
The Macau health authorities have also advised the local public to avoid non-essential outbound trips during the remaining summer break.
The authorities in Guangdong have advised the public to “avoid non-essential trips” outside the province, as a precaution against the risk of spreading Covid-19. Guangdong, which has a population of more than 100 million, is the largest-single feeder market currently for Macau’s tourism industry.
(Updated 8am, August 4)
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