The government’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced in the early hours of Monday that Macau confirmed an imported case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) last night, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 11, after the city had not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 39 consecutive days.
According to a statement by the centre, the latest patient is a 26-year-old female non-resident worker from South Korea. The woman left Macau and travelled to Porto with her boyfriend – a local Portuguese national – for a family visit on January 30, the statement said.
The statement said that the woman took a flight back from Porto to Hong Kong via Dubai with her boyfriend on Friday, adding that during the flight EK380 from Dubai to Hong Kong, she was sitting in the 31J seat of Emirates airline.
According to the statement, the woman returned to Macau with her boyfriend at 00:30 on Saturday from Hong Kong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB). The statement said that the woman came down with a “slight” cough later the same day, before seeking treatment yesterday afternoon at the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre after coming down with a fever.
The statement said that the woman was confirmed last night to have been infected with the novel coronavirus after a test, after which she was moved to the public hospital’s isolation ward for treatment. The statement described the woman’s condition as “normal”.
According to the statement, the woman’s boyfriend has been classified as having been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
According to previous government announcements, those who have been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients will be taken to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) quarantine facility – Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane – for 14-day quarantine.
The statement said that the Health Bureau is currently looking for other people who have been in contact with the woman.
The statement said that the local government urged those who have travelled on the same flights as the woman to contact the centre on 2870 0800.
Macau had not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 39 consecutive days until Saturday. Macau’s previous last two COVID-19 cases, the 9th and 10th cases, were confirmed on February 4. All of the previous 10 COVID-19 patients – seven tourists from Wuhan and three locals – have been discharged from hospital, with the last one – a 64-year-old local woman – discharged on March 6.
According to a follow-up statement by the centre, Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) workers were carrying out cleaning and disinfection work around the South Korean woman’s residence in Macau – Block 5 of the luxury residential estate One Oasis in Coloane. The follow-up statement also urged those who have been in contact with the woman to contact the centre.
According to local Chinese-language media reports, the news about the 11th case has caused heated online discussions. The reports identified the patient as a flight attendant who had not been working due to the cancellations of most of her airline’s flights due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Some reports said that she worked for Air Macau. Social media reports said 25 returning Macau students had been on the same plane as the woman and her boyfriend. The Macau Post Daily was unable to verify the social media reports.