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Health officials point to continued Covid-19 risk as newly added community case untraceable

Construction workers added to key groups which will need to take daily mandatory NAT; Macao enters its first day of ‘consolidation period’ with 469 warnings issued and one accused.

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Construction workers added to key groups which will need to take daily mandatory NAT; Macao enters its first day of ‘consolidation period’ with 469 warnings issued and one accused.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

Starting tomorrow, around 19,000 construction workers will be added to the city’s Key Groups – now totalling nine – and will need to undergo a daily NAT. The test is not a prerequisite to attend work and employers will be responsible for overseeing their staff abide by this new measure. Mobile NAT buses will be arranged for some construction sites whilst others will have buses to take workers to testing centres. 

Leong Iek Hou, Head of the Health Bureau’s Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division said that as of midnight last night, Macao registered 1,805 cases of which 1,108 were asymptomatic. One case was found during mass testing and so far the case has been untraceable bringing significant risk to the community. 

From tomorrow onwards, Leong said stricter measures will need to be implemented around Red Code Zones. These surrounding areas will now be classified as Yellow Code Zones, and people living in these buildings will be required to undergo NATs on days 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7. Infants born after 1 July 2019, the elderly and the disabled are not exempted from testing.

Between 24-26 July, people who live, work or have stayed at Iao On market and Portas do Cerco border areas for more than half an hour on or after 20 July will also need to undergo a daily NAT. Infants under 36 months old, the elderly and the disabled are not exempted from this testing.

More than a hundred patients were released today, bringing the total to 811 since the Omicron variant outbreak on 18 June. Those who have recovered from this current Covid-19 strain in Macao and are released from quarantine do not have to participate in citywide testing, key areas or key group NATs for 60 days. According to Leong, people who have been infected with this particular strain will not be re-infected for about two months.

More than 22,700 people are currently under follow-up and 2,634 remain in observation hotels. 

As Macao began its first day of the “consolidation period”, 469 warnings were issued from midnight to 3 pm today and one person was accused of stealing and driving a motorcycle, all whilst not wearing a mask. Lei Tak Fai, Head of the Public Security Police Force’s Public Relations said that police stopped numerous runners this morning at Guia as running with KN95 masks was dangerous to their health. 

On the topic of around 30,000 Philippine passport holders being singled out to take an additional daily NAT, the Philippine Consulate General in Macao has issued another statement today saying that “the Consulate General, at the outset of this directive, has issued its position taking the directive as purely a health issue and yet there are those who remain focused on politicising this … The Filipino community and other migrant communities belong to the larger society of Macao now facing a serious threat.”

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

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