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‘Preliminarily’ confirmed Filipina COVID-19 patient in HK lunched at local Jollibee

Filipina visiting from Hong Kong, ‘preliminarily’ confirmed with COVID-19, visited Macau last week and lunched at Jollibee.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

A 40-year-old Filipina national, Hong Kong resident who has been “preliminarily” confirmed by the Hong Kong authorities to have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) visited Macau last week.

During her six-day stay here, she had lunch at the Jollibee fast-food eatery in the city centre and bought fresh food at the São Domingos Municipal Market every day for four consecutive days, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said during on Sunday evening’s daily press conference about Macau’s COVID-19 situation.

The Macau authorities are still trying to confirm where the Filipina stayed during her six-day visit to Macau between last Sunday and Friday, March 22–27.

The Hong Kong health authorities informed their counterparts in Macau around midday on Sunday about the “preliminarily” confirmed case, Leong said. At the time of the press conference in the late afternoon, the local authorities had still to receive detailed personal information about the Filipina from the Hong Kong authorities as her COVID-19 infection had not yet been confirmed, explained Leong.

According to Leong, the Hong Kong authorities have told their counterparts in Macau they believed that the Filipina case has been connected to a cluster linking four bars in Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai.

During Sunday’s press conference at the Health Bureau adjacent to the public Conde de S. Januário Hospital Centre, Leong said that the woman came to Macau last Sunday. She returned to Hong Kong on Friday. During her six-day stay in Macau, the Filipina had lunch at the local branch of the Philippine fast-food chain at Circle Square in Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro at around 2 p.m. every day between last Monday and Thursday, after which she went to the São Domingos Municipal Market each time where she bought fresh food.

After receiving the report about the Filipina from Hong Kong’s Department of Health, the Macau Health Bureau managed to contact the woman to ask her about her stay in Macau, according to Leong, who said that as she is a Filipina, she could not clearly describe which streets and buildings she had been to during her stay in Macau. According to Leong, the Filipina said that she rented a flat during her stay in Macau and told the Health Bureau the landlord’s contact number. However, the bureau had not been able to contact the landlord before the press conference.

Leong said that the Health Bureau could therefore not confirm where the Filipina stayed during her visit to Macau.

Leong also said that the Filipina had been in touch with a non-resident worker employed in Macau – whose nationality was not revealed – during her stay here. The non-resident worker, who has been classified as a close contact, has meanwhile undergone a COVID-19 test at the public hospital and been taken to the Health Bureau’s quarantine facility – the Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane – for 14-days medical observation.

Leong pledged that the Macau authorities will announce the details of the Filipina’s stay here once her COVID-19 infection has been confirmed by the Hong Kong authorities.

Threat ‘not less serious’ than in ‘first wave’

Speaking during Sunday’s press conference, Health Bureau Director Lei Chin Ion warned that during the current “second wave” of the COVID infection, Macau was facing a threat “not less serious” than that during the “first wave” early last month. The health chief warned that the Filipina who has been “preliminarily” confirmed by the Hong Kong authorities to have been infected with the novel coronavirus disease had possibly transmitted the disease to some local residents during her stay in Macau, in which case the disease would possibly be transmitted to even more people in the city if residents choose to continue attending gatherings. He urged residents not to let their guard down and persevere in keeping up protective measures.

Macau’s first wave – comprising seven tourists from Wuhan and three locals – lasted from January 22 to February 4. The second wave began on March 15.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Mark Yeung

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

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