The Health Bureau (SSM) has rolled out a string of measures to strengthen its Covid-19 prevention work after a four-day inspection visit by an expert team from the National Health Commission (NHC) which ended early this month.
The SSM said that a delegation led by its director Alvis Lo Iek Long visited the NHC in Beijing recently when officials presented the commission’s final report.
Shen Hongbing, a deputy director of the National Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention, part of the NHC, noted that the final report made by the NHC expert team fully acknowledged Macao’s achievements in its Covid-19 prevention and control work and the fact that Macao has implemented Covid-19 measures in line with the mainland.
Shen quoted the NHC team as underlining the large number of people commuting between Macao and Zhuhai. The free movement of people between Macao and the mainland highlights the importance for the Macao government to continue to stick to its Covid-19 prevention and control principle of guarding against imported cases and the possibility of locally transmitted cases.
The NHC experts suggested that Macao strengthen its Covid-19 infection control measures in hospitals and that local hospitals should raise their clinical treatment capability.
The NHC experts also urged the local government to clearly classify – in line with its Covid-19 risk assessments – “important” groups of people who are potentially subject to a higher Covid-19 risk and administer nucleic acid tests (NAT) accordingly.
The NHC experts urged the local government to include those who have sought treatment at medical institutions and those working in occupations subject to a high Covid-19 risk as “important” groups of people subject to the monitoring of their health status and regular nucleic acid tests.
The NHC experts said the local government should roll out more “proactive” measures to boost Covid-19 vaccinations. In particular, the NHC experts said that Macao should carry out “tailored” awareness campaigns on Covid-19 vaccinations for “important” groups of people such as medical workers, those working at the city’s border checkpoints, public servants, and all staff members of schools, in line with “the principle of inoculating as many people as possible”.
The NHC experts called for a wide campaign drive on Covid-19 vaccinations across Macao with the aim of raising the city’s inoculation rate.
Furthermore, the NHC experts urged the local government to raise its capability on Covid-19 emergency response. They recommended that the local government should draw up a contingency plan in response to the possible occurrence of an “extremely” adverse Covid-19 situation, improve its procedures for a mass NAT drive, and strengthen its training of personnel engaging in NATs such as those who collect swabs and those who work in Covid-19 testing laboratories.
The NHC experts also called for strengthened cooperation on Covid-19 prevention and control between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
Lo said that the SSM has rolled out a string of measures to strengthen the city’s Covid-19 prevention work in line with the suggestions made by the NHC expert team.
Lo noted that the Macao government has strengthened the implementation of its regular Covid-19 NATs for “important” groups of people, published new guidelines on Covid-19 vaccinations and NATs for “all staff members” in the city, and strengthened its Covid-19 measures for those working in the city’s quarantine facilities.
Lo also noted that the number of residents booking a Covid-19 jab in Macao has increased over recent days due to the local government’s strengthened measures to boost Covid-19 vaccinations, The Macau Post Daily reported.