The Macau government announced on Friday that all non-essential civil servants must remain at home until 7th of February to prevent the spread of the virus in the territory.
The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U said that between the 3rd and 7th of February, only basic and urgent public services will remain open, but did not detail which ones. She says that the government will issue instructions on which government departments are going to keep working. Macau’s public services comprise of 32,000 employees.
“Employees who do not need to work must remain at home,” she said, while also appealing to residents and civil servants not to leave Macau.
The Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong also called on private companies to follow government measures and close doors between the 3rd and 7th of February if they are not essential to daily life in Macau.
Lei did not reject the possibility of ordering the closing of Macau casinos. Instead, he said that at the moment, the government are taking all preventive measures to guarantee the security of this current situation. Further measures will only be taken based on the assessment of the Macau Health Bureau (SSM).
In a press conference held by SSM Director Lei Chin Ion on Friday, he said that the possibility of coronavirus cases cannot be ruled out among the locals of Macau.
“It is not just Hubei that has cases. All provinces in Interior China besides Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan also have cases of coronavirus. For this reason, we cannot exclude the possibility of cases in the local community, ”he said.
Lei compared the current epidemic with SARS in 2003 and recalled that it lasted for six months. He called on all Macau residents to take the measures provided by the government in order to prevent the spread of the epidemic in Macau.
SSM also announced that Macau only has 7 minor cases of coronavirus confirmed, with an additional 127 suspected cases in isolation.
Hong Kong now records 12 cases of coronavirus and in the province of Guangdong — where Macau is located — 436 cases were confirmed without any fatality.
As of Friday afternoon, China has registered 9692 cases, 1527 of which were in serious conditions, and 213 deaths.