*Last updated on 18 May 2021
Macao has logged its 50th Covid-19 case – a 31-year-old man who was among 10 passengers who arrived on a chartered flight from last month.
The 10 passengers on the Kathmandu-Macao chartered flight comprised seven Macao residents and three non-resident workers hired by Macao’s Correctional Services Bureau (DSC) to work in Macao’s prison in Coloane. According to last month’s announcement, the Macao government exempted the three from its entry ban on foreign nationals without a Macao ID card “in the public interest”.
Macao’s 50th Covid-19 patient is a Nepali who works as a prison guard in Macao’s prison.
All 10 passengers tested negative for Covid-19 in a nucleic acid test (NAT) after landing, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre reported at the time.
Five out of the 10 passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus in their antibody tests, also known as serology tests.
According to last month’s announcement, the other five among the 10 passengers tested negative for the novel coronavirus in their antibody tests upon their arrival at the local airport.
The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre has since announced that the 31-year-old man tested negative for Covid-19 in his nucleic acid test but positive for the virus in his antibody test on 25 April.
The Health Bureau (SSM) concluded last month that the 31-year-old had previously been infected with the novel coronavirus and had recovered elsewhere.
The SSM transferred the man to its Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane for medical observation after considering that he would possibly test positive for the virus in a NAT again.
The man tested negative for Covid-19 in three more nucleic acid tests on 28 April, 2 May and 9 May. However, the man “weakly” tested positive for the virus in a follow-up NAT yesterday.
The SSM has said previously that if some Covid-19 patients who have been discharged from hospital, or asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus, have later tested positive for the virus in a NAT it is “merely a phenomenon”, meaning that they have not had a relapse.
The SSM said that the 31-year-old’s case is one of “an asymptomatic carrier of the novel coronavirus who later tested positive for the virus again”.
The SSM decided to classify the 31-year-old man as a Covid-19 case for Macao, considering that he had previously not been confirmed as a Covid-19 patient elsewhere.
He has not been infected with any of the mutant strains of the novel coronavirus in Brazil, India, South Africa or the United Kingdom that are more contagious, but has been infected with the D614G strain, the now most common one spreading in the world.
Macao confirmed its first Covid-19 case on 22 January last year, The Macau Post Daily reported. No novel coronavirus death has been recorded in Macao, leading some observers to describe it as an “oasis” in the world’s Covid-19 “desert”.