Addressing Thursday’s press conference about Macao’s novel coronavirus situation, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, announced that Kiang Wu Hospital will join the government’s nucleic acid testing (NAT) programme on Monday, adding that 1,000 places for the COVID-19 testing per day will be available at the private hospital “in the first phase”.
According to Lo, from today, people can make an appointment to undergo their nucleic acid tests at Kiang Wu Hospital, which will charge the same testing fee of MOP 120 as the other testing stations in the government’s NAT programme.
Lo also said Macao’s COVID-19 testing capability will be further raised from 23,000 to 24,000 people per day after Kiang Wu Hospital’s joining to the NAT scheme.
Macao’s COVID-19 testing capability was raised from 6,000 to 16,000 people per day in late June, and was further raised to 23,000 people per day early this month.
Lo also said that those undergoing their nucleic acid tests at Kiang Wu Hospital will have their sample collected via a nasopharyngeal swab.
The Macao government launched its nucleic acid testing (NAT) scheme on 7 May when its first and main testing station at the Taipa Ferry Terminal in Pac On started operating. The Health Bureau (SSM) has commissioned a third-party testing institution – Kuok Kim (Macau) Hygiene Examination Company Limited – to carry out COVID-19 testing there. A new testing station for the government’s NAT scheme, which is located at the Macau Forum complex in Zape, came into operation on 21 July. The new Macau Forum testing station is temporarily being operated by the Health Bureau before it commissions a third-party testing institution to carry out COVID-19 testing there. The government has not said whether the same testing institution – Kuok Kim – or a new one will carry out the COVID-19 testing at the Macau Forum testing station.
Residents who plan to visit the mainland have to make an appointment online to be tested for COVID-19 under the Macao government’s NAT scheme so that they can present a NAT certificate confirming that they have tested negative for COVID-19 when entering the mainland.
In addition to the COVID-19 testing at the Macau Forum testing station, the Health Bureau has been carrying out nucleic acid tests for certain groups of people such as confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients, those who have been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients, those with a fever or any respiratory symptoms, newly hospitalised patients, and those undergoing quarantine, as well as for those working in certain sectors and occupations such as teachers, social service facility staff members, fisherfolks, casino frontline workers, fish vendors, immigration officers, cross-border drivers, cargo ships and aeroplane crew members.