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RATs compulsory for everyone in Macao Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

All mass-testing NAT results negative so far; health workers trying to find source of latest case as typhoon nears; risk to Grand Prix and Food Fest ‘under control’, says health chief.

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All mass-testing NAT results negative so far; health workers trying to find source of latest case as typhoon nears; risk to Grand Prix and Food Fest ‘under control’, says health chief.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:46 am

Health workers are still trying to puzzle out the exact source of the latest Covid-19 case, a 58-year-old man, in Macao, where the caseload remains at 11.

The mass-testing drive which started at 7 am today had screened 263,778 people by 3 pm, out of the city’s population of 677,300, all of whom must undergo a nucleic acid test by 11 am tomorrow – however weather forecasters have warned that Signal No 8 may be raised some time during the day as Typhoon Nalgae moves closer to Macao. 

So far, all results have proved negative, and health officials have confirmed that the current outbreak is not linked to the variant that struck during the summer.

Everyone in Macao will be required to undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) for the next three days until 4 November.

At the top of officials’ minds is the approach of two major events in Macao’s annual calendar: the Grand Prix and the Macau Food Festival, both of which would normally guarantee an influx of free-spending visitors. 

The city is currently suffering after visitor arrivals plummeted due to Covid-19, and the government has also had to fork out more than MOP 1 billion to conduct mass-testing drives during the summer.

Health Bureau Director Alvis Lo said: “Regarding the upcoming major events this month, the Macau Grand Prix and the Macau Food Festival, the risk is under control.

“The first positive cases [10 cases] were related to four families. They are not a risk for the community. The most recent case of the 58-year-old man is the problematic one because he went to many different places in the city. RATs and NATs are fundamental to clarify the situation.”

Lo said that there are now 76 testing stations across the city, and health workers can handle 30,000 people per hour.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:46 am

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