The Macau government announced on Tuesday that a local medical team will today join a national medical team, which will then depart from Chongqing for Algeria to support the North African country in fighting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
The local team joining the national anti-COVID-19 medical team consists of five members from the local branch of the China International Emergency Medical Team.
Mio Chi Fong, who heads the local five-member team, made the announcement during Tuesday’s daily press conference about the local COVID-19 situation.
According to previous announcements by the Macau government, the China International Emergency Medical Team (Macau) last year became the nation’s fifth international emergency medical team – also the world’s 25th team – recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The local international emergency medical team has 120 members from the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Disease Prevention and Control Centre and the Fire Services Bureau (CB).
According to Xinhua, the central government announced on Monday that the country had decided to send medical teams to Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Algeria to support African countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The three teams, organised by the National Health Commission (NPC), consist of experts selected by the health committees of Hunan province, Hebei province and Chongqing municipality. The Hunan medical team for Zimbabwe departed on Monday morning, followed by the Hebei and Chongqing medical teams heading to the DRC and Algeria, respectively, to set out in the near future, Xinhua reported on Monday.
Mio, a senior doctor of the public hospital’s emergency department, said that the local medical delegation will fly from Macau to Chongqing at 4:30 p.m. today on a chartered plane arranged by the mainland authorities. There, the local team will join the 15-member Chongqing team which will directly fly to Algeria. The 20-member team is slated to arrive in Algeria at 9 a.m. (local time) tomorrow, Mio said.
According to Mio, the other four members of the local team are 1) Ieong Pui I, also a senior doctor of the public hospital’s emergency department; 2) Wong Kun Man, a nurse of the public hospital’s emergency department; 3) Chan Soi Fan, an epidemiologist of the Health Bureau’s Disease Prevention and Control Centre; and 4) O Leong, a senior public servant of the Health Bureau who will be tasked with humanitarian aid work.
The 15 members from Chongqing include clinical doctors and those specialising in infection control, Mio said.
The local team is slated to carry out anti-COVID-19 support tasks in Algeria for 15 days, but the period might be extended, Mio said.
According to Mio, the 20-member Chongqing-Macau team will carry out tasks in Algeria such as sharing the mainland and Macau’s anti-COVID-19 experiences with health officials there, engaging in academic exchanges with medical experts, providing guidance in medical institutions on COVID-19 prevention and control plans and procedures, carrying out investigations and research in areas which are seriously affected by the disease, providing training on COVID-19 control and prevention measures for staff in public organisations, and carrying out anti-COVID-19 educational sessions for residents there.
Mio noted that Algeria has been severely affected by COVID-19, with a death rate of over nine per cent.
According to the real-time statistical reference website worldometers.info, Algeria had 6,067 confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday, with 515 deaths and a death rate of 8.5 per cent.
Mio also said that the five local members will travel to the African country with 700 kilogrammes of anti-epidemic materials.
Meanwhile, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, pointed out during Tuesday’s press conference that Macau has not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 34 consecutive days. Just three of Macau’s 45 COVID-19 patients were still undergoing isolation treatment yesterday, Lo said.
Lo also said that, for the time being, the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) does not plan to allow the city’s day nurseries to reopen, considering that young children have a weaker immunity than older ones.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
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