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All Macao to self test for Covid-19 again today and tomorrow

As case numbers continue to shoot up – 607 yesterday – health chiefs stress importance of repeated testing and avoiding social contact as much as possible.

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As case numbers continue to shoot up – 607 yesterday – health chiefs stress importance of repeated testing and avoiding social contact as much as possible.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

Everyone in Macao will again have to take rapid antigen tests (RAT) today and tomorrow as health workers continue their battle to suppress the BA.5.1 Omicron variant that has turned the city upside down over the past fortnight.

Cases continued to spiral yesterday, with 607 reported by 5 pm, including a 100-year-old man who has been sent to hospital. As of 12 am on Thursday, close to 400 cases were asymptomatic while 180 were symptomatic.

Leong Iek Hou, Head of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, admitted that the Health Bureau is no closer to discovering the source of the most recent outbreak.

“It’s important to continue with the mass tests to find positive cases in order to prevent the spread of the virus in the community,” she said, adding that residents should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. 

About one-fifth of the new cases have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, however many had been inoculated as much as thrice.

Leong said the most serious cases have been admitted to the Public Health Clinic Centre in Alto de Coloane which has 120 beds; she added that the Health Bureau has reserved space in hotels for more possible serious cases.

Leong said that she did not believe Macao residents would fake RAT tests, as a matter of common sense and honesty. She added that due to lack of staff it is not possible to test children at home or newborn babies in lockdown zones.

She pointed out that while Covid-19 cases are on the rise, more people are getting better, and that more than 200 positive patients had agreed to be treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. More than 10,000 cases are being followed up.

The recent outbreak continues to target women rather than men, and cases range from an eight-month-old baby to the centenarian at Integrate Services Centre for the Elderly at Praia do Manduco, who was infected alongside four members of staff.

Since 24 June, 36 centres have implemented preventive closed-loop management measures, including elderly homes and drug rehabilitation centres.

Health workers have identified a 12th cluster at the Hotel Fortuna and Edifício do Jardim Kam Sau, which is related to the first cluster to be discovered which was at the Yim Lai Building. At present, nearly 3,000 people are confined to quarantine hotels, the majority of them local. By 3 pm yesterday, 429,621 RAT results had been uploaded, and 26 were declared positive  (19 from the community, 7 under management and control).

Leong stressed that six regular NAT testing stations can provide more than 50,000 self-paid tests every day, with an additional 40,000 for those with a Yellow Health Code.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

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