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Health Bureau launches 3-colour code to stem COVID-19 spread

A QR three-colour code system has replaced the Health Bureau’s digital health declaration that is required at border checkpoints and for entering public administration premises, casinos and other premises.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:43 am

A QR three-colour code system has replaced the Health Bureau’s digital health declaration that is required at border checkpoints and for entering public administration premises, casinos and other premises.

The new system was announced by Leong Iek Hou from the bureau’s Disease Prevention and Control Centre at the daily press conference by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre on Friday about the disease. Leong said the colour code would allow the bureau to have a “more complete monitoring” of the virus situation.

The new code system started operating at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Previously, there were two different versions of the digital health declaration, one to enter public administration premises, casinos and other private buildings, the other to enter Macau.

The new system, officially known as “Macau Health Code”, asks its registrants three things, namely 1) symptoms, 2) COVID-19-patient contact history and 3) travel history. The new code consists of three colours: red, yellow and green.

According to Leong, real-name registration is used in the “Macau Health Code” system.

In the “Macau Health Code” system, registrants have to fill in their personal and contact information. The system asks the holder whether they have any of the following symptoms: 1. fever; 2. acute cough or sore throat or shortness of breath; or 3. none of the above symptoms. The system also asks the holders whether they have been in unprotected contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient within the past 14 days. The system asks the holders whether within the past 14 days they have been in: 1) Wuhan and other regions in Hubei province; 2) Zhuhai; 3) other regions in Guangdong province; 4) Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing or the provinces of Henan, Zhejiang, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, Heilongjiang; 5) other provinces or cities in mainland China; 6) Taiwan; 7) Hong Kong; or 8) other countries (or regions).

After the registrant fills in their personal and contact information and answer the three questions, the system will then compare them to the bureau’s database on all the information related to local COVID-19 cases, before generating a health code – either in red, yellow or green – for each registrant.

Red indicates a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case, or a person who has been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients (including those who confirm, when filling in the health declaration, that they have been in unprotected contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient within the past 14 days), or a person who indicates that within the past 14 days he or she has been in the countries or regions whose visit requires him or her to undergo quarantine and medical observation.

Non-residents whose colour code is red are denied entry into Macau, while residents will be immediately transferred to the public hospital for medical tests and possible hospitalisation. Red also means that the person is barred from entering public administration premises, casinos and other private premises such as banks.

Yellow indicates a person who has been in general (rather than close) contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients, or a person who confirms, when filling in the health declaration, that he or she has come down with a fever, acute cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.

Yellow merely requires the person to practise health self-management, such as checking one’s temperature at least twice a day and avoiding crowded places.

Green means that the person is not a formerly or currently confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case, is not a former or current contact of an infected person, has no symptoms and has not been in the countries or regions whose visit requires him or her to undergo quarantine and medical observation.

The colour code is available in Macau’s two official languages, Chinese (in traditional and simplified characters) and Portuguese, as well as English, Macau’s lingua franca.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Government Information Bureau (GCS)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:43 am

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