Delta variant carrier concealed time spent in India
Taiwanese tourist may face time in prison after fibbing to health officials; NAT regulations tightened for arrivals from Taiwan.
Macao’s latest Covid-19 patient, the 53rd, who was classified as an imported case carrying the Delta variant, initially failed to inform the authorities that he had worked in India between February and May.
The 59-year-old Taiwanese male tourist only admitted that he had been in India after repeated questioning about his travel history by Macao Health Bureau (SSM) staff, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre has announced.
After arriving in Macao from Taiwan last week, the man told SSM officials that he had worked in Vietnam between October last year and January.
Macao’s 53rd Covid-19 case was confirmed on Thursday, when the male tourist flew to Macao on Starlux Airlines. He tested negative for Covid-19 in a nucleic acid test (NAT) in Taiwan on Tuesday last week. However, upon arrival in Macao, he tested positive for Covid-19 in a NAT, but tested negative for IgM antibodies and positive for IgG antibodies in a serology test.
The centre first announced on Saturday that the man was diagnosed with carrying the Delta variant, noting that he had worked in Vietnam between October last year and January, when the variant was already spreading there.
Only after being repeatedly asked by SSM officials did the man finally admit that he had worked in India between February and last month – in addition to his work history in Vietnam. During his stay in India, the man came down with minor respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose. He returned to Taiwan last month, where he tested negative for Covid-19 in a number of nucleic acid tests.
As the Delta variant has been widely spreading across India, the SSM has now concluded that the man was infected with Covid-19 in India. Under Macao law, anyone transmitting an infectious disease and putting the lives of others in jeopardy face a prison term of up to eight years, The Macau Post Daily reported.
In related news:
- From now on, all arrivals from Taiwan must present a NAT certificate confirming that they have tested negative for Covid-19 within the past 24 hours when boarding a Macao-bound plane.
- The fourth batch of about 10,000 doses of BioNTech mRNA vaccine was delivered to Macao from Germany via Hong Kong on Friday morning. Another batch of BioNTech doses is expected to arrive in Macao at the end of this month.
- The 2870 0800 hotline of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre has 10 lines. Residents can also call 8390 1460 if they want to consult doctors about Covid-19 vaccinations.
- Due to a rise in the number of transmissions of the Delta variant, anyone in Macao who was at Shenzhen’s airport between 10 and 18 June is required to undergo five nucleic acid tests within 14 days after they left the airport. Their Macao Health Code colour will become yellow during the 14-day period. The Macao Health Code colour of those failing to undergo the tests on the required schedules will turn red.