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Parents can buy 30 facemasks for each child aged between 3 & 4 from today

From today, parents or legal guardians can buy 30 facemasks for each child aged between three and four during the ongoing 30-day 21st round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

Addressing Thursday’s press conference about Macao’s novel coronavirus situation, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, announced that from today, parents or legal guardians can buy 30 facemasks for each child aged between three and four during the ongoing 30-day 21st round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme – which started late last month and will end late this month.

The facemasks sold under the scheme are colloquially known as “government facemasks”.

According to Lo, parents or legal guardians who have already bought 15 facemasks for their children aged between three and four, plus 15 adult facemasks – with the children’s ID cards – in the ongoing 21st round of the scheme, or those who have bought 30 adult facemasks – i.e. having used the whole quota of 30 for adult facemasks with their children’s ID cards – can exchange the already-bought adult facemasks for child facemasks at any of the Health Bureau’s (SSM) health centres or health stations.

According to Lo, the government has decided to roll out the new facemask purchase measure for children aged between three and four as it has been able to buy more child facemasks from suppliers, which have already been delivered to Macao.

Under the 30-day facemask purchase scheme, each local resident and non-resident worker is entitled to buy 30 facemasks at the fixed price of MOP 24 at designated outlets upon presentation of their original Macao ID card or work permit.

Before today’s implementation of the new measure for children aged between three and four, in each 30-day round parents or legal guardians had been entitled to buy only 15 facemasks for each child aged between three and four with the child’s ID card, with the remaining 15 being adult facemasks, or alternatively they could choose to use the whole quota of 30 for adult facemasks.

Regardless of today’s new measure, in each 30-day round, parents or legal guardians have always been entitled to buy 30 facemasks for each child aged between five and eight, or alternatively they can choose to buy 15 child facemasks and 15 adult facemasks, or choose to use the whole quota of 30 for adult facemasks.

According to Lo, parents or legal guardians who have already bought 15 facemasks for their children aged between five and eight plus 15 adult facemasks in the ongoing 21st round of the scheme, or those who have used the whole quota of 30 for adult facemasks with their five-to-eight-year-old children’s ID cards, are not covered by the new arrangement starting today.

There are 85 outlets for the ongoing 21st round of the facemask purchase scheme, comprising 57 designated pharmacies, eight health centres in Macao and Taipa and two health stations in Coloane run by the Health Bureau, as well as 18 co-called service points run by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (Gung Luen), Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations (Kai Fong) and Macau Women’s General Association (Fu Luen).

Child facemasks are only sold at the bureau’s health centres and health stations. The price of child facemasks is the same as for adult facemasks.

While the facemask swap measure targets parents or legal guardians who have bought 15 facemasks for their children aged between three and four plus 15 adult facemask at the bureau’s health centres or health stations in the ongoing 21st round of the scheme, the government also allows parents who have bought 30 adult facemasks with their three- or four-year-old children’s ID cards at designated pharmacies or community association venues to exchange the 30 facemasks for child facemasks at any of the bureau’s health centres or health stations, according to Lo.

The current 21st round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme started on 30 August until 28 September.

The government’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre first announced the new facemask purchase measure for children aged between three and four in a statement on Thursday last week, which said that the government would soon be able to increase the supply of child facemasks in its facemask purchase scheme after having been able to buy further more child facemasks from suppliers, adding that therefore it had decided to entitle parents or legal guardians to buy 30 facemasks for each child aged between three and four in the near future during the already ongoing 21st round of its facemask purchase scheme.

During last Thursday’s press conference by the centre, Lo said that the local government had requested facemask suppliers to provide more child facemasks for its facemask purchase scheme, in response to that fact that children aged between three and four now also attend kindergarten in the current new school year – which started last week.

Lo said last Thursday that if the package of the adult facemasks returned to the health centres or health stations by parents has not been opened, they will be used again – i.e. put on resale – while the government will discard the facemasks in any packets that have been opened. Lo said that while parents have the right to change the already-bought adult facemasks for child facemasks, he urged them to use the adult facemasks if the packet has already been opened, instead of changing them for child facemasks, so as to avoid waste.

Macao has not recorded a new COVID-19 case for 76 days, while no local case has been confirmed in 165 days.

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

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

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