The Macau authorities announced today a second round of nucleic acid tests on the population, on Friday and Saturday, although the last round, which ended this morning, did not detect any case of covid-19.
Despite acknowledging that the territory has “a low risk of transmission”, Leong Iek Hou, from the New Type of Coronavirus Contingency Coordination Center, said that one more round was needed to “strengthen community security”.
The entire population will have to carry out a nucleic acid test, with the exception of children under one year old, explained the head of Macau Health Services (SSM), at a press conference.
The second round will allow Macau to “resume social and economic activities” and “continue to hold large-scale events,” Leong said, citing the 69th Macau Grand Prix as an example.
The Macau Grand Prix, which takes place from the 17th to the 20th of November, will be marked this year by the return of foreign riders to competition.
“Unless there is an anomaly [in the second round], we will not have any more rounds” of testing, assured Leong Iek Hou.
By 11:00 am today (3:00 am in Lisbon) the Macau authorities have completed a round of nucleic acid tests on more than 725,000 people, without finding any more positive cases of covid-19.
The round was launched after the region detected more than a dozen new cases of covid-19 last week, including a 43-year-old woman ‘croupier’, which led to the closure of the casino, hotels, shops and restaurants at the MGM Cotai complex. .
At today’s press conference, authorities confirmed that all guests and workers were able to leave the resort, located on the strip of casinos between the islands of Taipa and Coloane, after having tested negative for three days in a row.
Also today, the authorities of the neighboring city of Zhuhai detected two more cases of covid-19, one of which with a possible connection to Macau, and extended the confinement, which lasts for at least seven days, to a second area of the city.
The Zhuhai municipality had already imposed on Tuesday a confinement and a round of nucleic acid tests in Gongbei district, where Portas do Cerco is located, the main border between Macau and mainland China.
The New Type of Coronavirus Contingency Coordination Center revealed today that the two positive cases were in an underground shopping center next to Portas do Cerco.
All Macao residents who have passed through the mall since Friday must undergo nucleic acid tests for three consecutive days, the Center said in a statement.
Also as of today, all passengers who take a plane or boat in Macau, bound for mainland China, must present a nucleic acid test certificate with a negative result made within the previous 24 hours.
Macau, which follows the zero-case policy imposed by Beijing, faced in June and July the worst outbreak of covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with the authorities decreeing a partial confinement.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Chinese special administrative region has recorded six deaths and more than 2,573 cases, including asymptomatic ones, of covid-19.
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