Addressing Monday’s weekly press conference about Macao’s novel coronavirus situation, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that all runners in next month’s Macao International Marathon will have to be tested for COVID-19 before competing in the race.
Leong said that the Health Bureau is discussing the COVID-19 testing arrangements with the annual event’s organisers – the Sports Bureau (ID) and the General Association of Athletics of Macau – adding that it will soon announce the details of the testing arrangements.
The 39th edition of the annual event, which will be held on 6 December, provides 12,000 places – 1,400 for the marathon, 4,800 for the half-marathon and 5,800 for the mini-marathon. All the places have been taken.
The event is titled-sponsored by gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) for the 17th year.
Leong pointed out that according to the Health Bureau’s guidelines, athletes in all local sports contests, including the upcoming Macao International Marathon, are required to undergo a nucleic acid test (NAT) before competing.
When asked whether there would be enough time for the Health Bureau to arrange for all the about 12,000 runners to undergo the COVID-19 tests before the marathon – which will take place in less than two weeks – Leong noted that the NAT results have a validity of seven days so that the runners cannot be tested too early. Leong pointed out that currently, Macao has a COVID-19 testing capability of almost 30,000 people per day, adding she believes that there will be enough time for all the runners to be tested before the upcoming event.
Macao has not recorded a new COVID-19 case for 150 days, while no local case has been confirmed in 239 days.