A total of 109 Macao residents who departed from 14 countries returned to Macao via two Air Macau flights from Tokyo Thursday night – and one of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the government announced.
According to a statement by the Government Information Bureau (GCS) late Thursday night, the passenger tested positive for Covid-19 in a rapid test upon arrival at the local airport. 10 other passengers who were sitting near the passenger on their Tokyo-Macao flight were taken to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane where they were awaiting the results of their nucleic acid tests (NATs) late Thursday night.
The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a follow-up statement early today that a 43-year-old woman who returned to Macao on Air Macau flight NX867 last night is Macao’s 47th Covid-19 patient. She had departed from Dubai to Tokyo via Singapore on Tuesday. After arriving in Macao last night, the female passenger tested positive twice for Covid-19, the statement said, adding the patient was asymptomatic. The statement also said that two of the 10 other passengers have meanwhile been transferred from the Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane to the Grand Coloane Resort near Hac Sa Beach.
98 passengers were taken to Grand Coloane Resort for their 21-day quarantine and medical observation, during which they will have to undergo four nucleic acid tests.
Passengers who complete their 21-day hotel quarantine will be required to practice at least seven days of “self-health management”.
The two flights, NX861 and NX867, departed Tokyo at 4:07 pm and 5:30 pm local time respectively. The NX861 flight passengers comprised 31 males, 30 females and two babies, while the NX867 flight passengers comprised 24 males and 22 females. The two flights arrived in Macao at 7:51 pm and 9:18 pm respectively.
The Macao government announced on Monday that it had been notified by Air Macau that 115 Macao residents departing from 13 countries such as the United Kingdom and Portugal would travel from Tokyo to Macao on Thursday. Thursday night’s statement said that the six Macao residents who did not return to Macao as initially scheduled include one who could not board the plane in the UK due to Covid-19 positive result and five “did not board the plane due to personal reasons”.
Thursday night’s statement said that the 109 residents who returned to Macao Thursday night departed from 14 countries, namely Australia, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The 109 passengers comprised 55 males and 54 females, five of them aged above 65, the statement said, adding that 10 passengers are aged between 12 and 17 and two are aged below two.
Pointing out that the passengers went through several airports for transit flights before arriving in Tokyo, Thursday night’s statement reaffirmed that after assessing the situation, the Macao government had concluded that the risk of the Tokyo-Macao flights for Macao having to cope with newly imported Covid-19 cases “will not be low”, with the possibility of Macao even confirming new Covid-19 patients who have been infected with the new strain of the novel coronavirus that is more contagious than the previous one.
The statement also said that the passengers are subject to the government’s “closed-loop management” and that the Health Bureau will remain vigilant against the Covid-19 threat.
Today marks exactly one year since Macao confirmed its first Covid-19 case, a 52-year-old businesswoman from Wuhan who was hospitalised in Macao for 15 days.
Unlike Hong Kong, Macao has so far been spared a community outbreak.
Observers have described Macao as a Covid-19 “oasis”, considering its low number of cases and zero fatalities.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by Government Information Bureau (GCS)