Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said today that the novel coronavirus epidemic in Macau “is basically under control”, thanks to the special administrative region’s efficient measures against the disease.
Ho made the remark in his 2020 Policy Address in the hemicycle of the Legislative Assembly (AL) this afternoon.
The 62-year-old Chief Executive said the local authorities’ measures against the highly infectious disease were now focused on preventing imported cases and a local outbreak.
He also said that his government would pay close attention to the development of the epidemic and do its utmost to prevent and control the epidemic in order to ensure “the final victory in this battle that we are fighting.”
Ho, who has been at the helm of the local government since December 20, 2019, described the COVID-19 epidemic as Macau’s “most serious public health crisis” since its return to the motherland in 1999. He said the epidemic was a “severe test and a huge challenge” for the local government and civil society.
Ho, a former member of the elite Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), also said that “the protection of life and residents’ safety and health are always our priority.”
The former business community leader also expressed his gratitude to Macau’s health care workers, firefighters, police officers and other public servants, as well as the whole population, for their joint efforts in fighting the epidemic.
Macau has confirmed 45 COVID-19 cases with no deaths. The first case was confirmed on January 22. Only 23 of the 45 patients remained in hospital today.
Meanwhile, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) announced today that the government will start on May 2 to distribute facemasks for school pupils, considering that senior secondary school classes are scheduled to restart on May 4 and junior secondary school classes on May 11.
Macau’s schools have been closed since the Chinese New Year holiday in late January.
The bureau said last week that it still had not scheduled for when primary and special needs classes will be relaunched, as well as kindergartens.