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Health officials reveal Covid-19 case details

One cluster traced to 13 non-resident workers living in one flat; carriers range from baby to octogenarian; staff at 53 NAT stations working all-out to complete mass testing.

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One cluster traced to 13 non-resident workers living in one flat; carriers range from baby to octogenarian; staff at 53 NAT stations working all-out to complete mass testing.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:45 am

The 31 new Covid-19 cases which struck Macao at the weekend are the most ever reported in such a short space of time, according to the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.

The 31 carriers, aged between eight months and 89, comprise 21 females and 10 males. Eight of the 31 cases have been classified as confirmed Covid-19 cases as they have come down with symptoms, while the other 23 have been classified as asymptomatic cases as they had not developed any symptoms as of last night.

The centre said staff have been carrying out follow-up measures for 602 other people after epidemiological investigations, including 146 close contacts, 375 who had visited the same places as the Covid-19 carriers at around the same time, and 36 secondary close contacts. 

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long and Leong Iek Hou, who heads the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division, said the initial 21 Covid-19 carriers comprised 16 females and 5 males, involving two clusters. 

The first cluster consisted of 17 people, comprising 13 non-resident workers living in one flat, a resident living on the same floor, two colleagues in a restaurant in Nam Van of one of the 13 non-resident workers, and the employer of another, a domestic helper.

The 13 non-resident workers and the resident live in Yim Lai Building in San Kio neighbourhood.

The second cluster consisted of four people, comprising a prison staff member, and three relatives whom he had met regularly. The three live in Tat Cheong Building, which is located opposite Yim Lai Building.

Yim Lai Building and Tat Cheong Building have been locked down, so all those living there have a red Macao Health Code and are barred from leaving their home except when they collect food and other daily necessities at government counters set up in the area.

Lo said that the government has provisionally decided that the Red code zones and Yellow Code zones will be valid for seven days, and the government would possibly extend the validity to 10 days if Macao continued to report more Covid-19 positive cases.

Lo said that according to the latest findings of the SSM’s epidemiological investigations, it has provisionally concluded that the two clusters “are connected in a way”.

Lo underlined that the government had still not identified the cases’ sources of infection. He added that someone in one of the two clusters might have been infected by someone in the other cluster.

Leong said that most of the 21 Covid-19 carriers had not been outside Macao recently, except two who visited Guangdong around 10 days ago.

Leong said that based on the incubation time of the Omicron variant, the two Covid-19 carriers did not appear to have been infected in Guangdong, but she was quick to add that her bureau did not rule out any possibility.

The ongoing mass NAT drive is being carried out at 53 stations with a total of 342 sampling counters, comprising 28 general stations – where the tests are free of charge, 18 self-paid stations and seven special care stations. The mandatory tests cover all those who are currently in Macao, not just residents.

All those tested will be handed three sets of rapid antigen testing kits to be kept at home for later use.

Meanwhile, the Zhuhai health authorities yesterday imposed seven days of home quarantine plus seven days of self-health monitoring for arrivals from Macao on top of displaying a NAT certificate confirming a negative Covid-19 result valid for 48 hours.

The Macao government announced yesterday that all those leaving Macao via any checkpoints must present an NAT certificate confirming a negative Covid-19 result valid for 24 hours.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:45 am

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