A man returning to Macao from Thailand has tested positive for Covid-19 and been diagnosed with carrying the Delta variant, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre has announced.
The centre classified the case as imported and asymptomatic, so it has not been added to Macao’s novel coronavirus tally, which remains at 79.
The centre announced the new case on New Year’s Day, when the man returned to Macao. He was confirmed on Sunday as having been infected with Delta.
The centre identified the male patient as a 45-year-old local resident who received two shots of the AstraZeneca-Oxford adenovirus vector vaccine, in October and December.
The man tested negative for Covid-19 in a nucleic acid test (NAT) in Thailand on Thursday, before flying to Singapore the next day. He took a connecting flight from Singapore to Macao on Saturday where he tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival.
The centre said that the case was still asymptomatic as the man had not come down with any Covid-19 symptoms.
The Macao Health Bureau (SSM) began early last month to separately classify and announce asymptomatic Covid-19 cases and confirmed Covid-19 cases.
In related news, the centre announced late last night that a 27-year-old local woman returning from the United Kingdom has tested positive for Covid-19.
The case has also been classified as imported and asymptomatic, so it has not been added to Macao’s Covid-19 tally.
According to the centret, the woman received two Pfizer BioNTech mRNA jabs in April and May. She tested negative for Covid-19 in a NAT in the UK on Friday. She flew to Singapore on Sunday and took a connecting flight from Singapore to Macao yesterday where she tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival.
Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced that the SSM has developed a new mobile app to allow staff to scan a printed version of the Macao Health Code presented by those without a smartphone so their visit can be recorded.
Currently, those without a smartphone can present a printed version of their Macao Health Code instead of showing their health code on their smartphone. A printed version of Macao Health Code is only valid on the day it is generated on a computer.
The SSM rolled out the mobile app version of the Macao Health Code that contains a contact tracing function in November. The contact tracing function enables residents to record their whereabouts accurately, which will help health officials in their investigations in case the city is hit by new local Covid-19 cases.
Contact-tracing-function QR codes are currently available at all government premises and facilities – including public medical institutions and facilities, all social service facilities and public buses.
The website version of the Macao Health Code remains operational, which means that currently smartphone users can choose to continue using the website version or switch to the mobile app version, when generating their health code. However, the new contact tracing function is only available on the mobile app version, as mobile web browsers are unable to scan a QR code.
The new mobile app aims to enable senior citizens, children and other individuals without a smartphone to have their whereabouts recorded. No date has been set for when the new mobile app will come into use.
In case Macao is hit by new local Covid-19 cases, the scanned data, which is encrypted, will be uploaded onto the SSM’s database.
The centre also said that the scanned data will only be stored on smartphones or other digital devices for 28 days. The records will be automatically deleted afterwards, The Macau Post Daily reported.