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Returnees from United States and Switzerland test positive for Omicron variant

Macao reaches 75% vaccination rate, but health chief points to dangers of Omicron variant, urges everyone to get jabbed.

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Macao reaches 75% vaccination rate, but health chief points to dangers of Omicron variant, urges everyone to get jabbed.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

Two local women who returned to Macao from abroad in the past week have tested positive for Covid-19, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre has announced.

A 55-year-old woman coming from the United States tested positive on Saturday. 

The case was classified as imported and asymptomatic, so was not added to Macao’s novel coronavirus tally, which remains at 79.

The centre said the female patient received her first and second BioNTech mRNA jab in Macao in June and July, before receiving a Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine dose as her booster jab in the United States last month.

According to the centre, the woman tested negative for Covid-19 in three nucleic acid tests (NATs) in California, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week. 

She flew to Singapore on Thursday and caught a connecting flight from Singapore to Macao on Saturday. She underwent a NAT upon arrival in Macao and a follow-up test yesterday, and both “weakly” tested positive for the Omicron variant.

The woman has been transferred to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane.

The second positive case was another 55-year-old local woman, who returned to Macao from Portugal on Wednesday last week. The case has also been classified as imported and asymptomatic.

According to the centre, the woman received her first and second Sinopharm inactivated jab in Macao in February and March last year, before receiving a Sinopharm booster jab in December.

According to the centre, the woman tested negative for Covid-19 in a NAT in Portugal on Sunday last week, before flying to Germany the next day. She flew to Singapore from Germany on Tuesday last week and caught a connecting flight to Macao the next day where she “weakly” tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival. The woman has also been transferred to the Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane.

Tai Wa Hou, a clinical director of the Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, also announced that a 19-year-old local woman who returned to Macao from Switzerland on 29 January and whose asymptomatic case was announced on Sunday last week has also been diagnosed with carrying Omicron.

In related news, Macao’s Covid-19 vaccination rate reached 74.6 per cent yesterday, indicating that nearly three-quarters of the population has received at least one jab, according to the SSM.

Tai underlined that while Macao’s Covid-19 vaccination rate amongst those aged between 20 and 59 currently exceeds 90 per cent, the jab rates amongst children and senior citizens are still low. As of 4 pm on Friday, the vaccination rates were only five per cent amongst those aged from 3 to 11; and 69.4 per cent amongst those aged between 12 and 19.

As of 4 pm on Friday the Covid-19 vaccination rate amongst senior citizens stood at 63.4 per cent amongst those aged between 60 and 69; 44.3 per cent amongst those aged from 70 to 79; and 17 per cent amongst those aged 80 or over.

Tai said that while Macao is currently not hit by local Covid-19 cases, various countries in the world are being hard hit by “explosive” growth in Covid-19 cases, The Macau Post Daily reported.  

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

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