Macao’s fate hangs in the balance this evening as health workers conduct tens of thousands of nucleic acid tests (NAT) for Taipa residents and anyone who has been in the area for more than 30 minutes following the discovery of a single confirmed case.
Depending on the results, the city may or may not embark on a normalisation period tomorrow – heralding the long-awaited return to everyday life prior to 18 June – that was scheduled to take place as the Omicron variant outbreak faded away.
The positive case, a 26-year-old, male, non-resident worker at Grand Mart supermarket bakery, was discovered by health authorities in Zhuhai.
Addressing the daily Covid-19 briefing, Health Bureau Director, Alvis Lo Iek Long, said: “We need to have more data and information regarding the present risk situation and only then can we decide on the next steps that need to be taken.
There’s no need to extend the stabilisation period yet. Everything depends on the next few hours and whether new cases are detected in the Taipa mass-testing.
“We need to ask all residents to do RAT tests today and tomorrow.”
Tai Wa Hou, Clinical Director of the Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said that while the building where the patient lives was placed on lockdown earlier today, the area surrounding his workplace is now a key area for mandatory NAT.
According to Tai, around 60,000 people live in the area but more who have visited also need to be tested. The results of today’s emergency testing will be known by 8 am tomorrow.
Health officials reported that six people who live with the Grand Mart patient have tested negative, while two others who are in mainland China are still being sought by the authorities.
So far, there are 34 people under follow up including 9 close contacts, 19 people with overlapping itineraires and 5 secondary contacts. The six people who live with the infected person have all so far tested negative.