From Thursday onwards, the Government has reinforced border prevention measures with temperature controls — those with fevers can neither leave nor enter the Special Administrative Region.
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng explained in a press conference that the measures are reciprocal, as these measures started in Zhuhai since Wednesday. This meant that any person with fever in Zhuhai would not be allowed to enter Macau.
“I have already given instructions to the Health Services so that, from this afternoon, they can start taking these measures. It’s not just for us. We must have the same control and prevention measures with the other party”.
Ho Iat Seng says that at the moment there are no conditions to close the borders. Ho said he asked private entities to postpone Chinese New Year’s events, dinners and parties.
“These gatherings and dinners, usually require a large crowd of people and we don’t want the situation to get worse,” said Ho Iat Seng.
On Thursday morning, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) announced that the main celebrations, such as the Golden Dragon and float parades, were cancelled.
The Government decided, however, to keep burning firecrackers because it is “a tradition that must be respected”.
Still, Ho Iat Seng called on the population to reinforce protection measures when, and if, it will burn firecrackers.
As in previous years, there are two areas authorized for this activity — in Taipa and near the Macau Tower.
Meanwhile, the Health Services have announced that ten people are in isolation because of this new form of pneumonia.
These individuals under isolation are family members and people who have been in contact with the two patients infected with the coronavirus that was originally detected in Wuhan.
This morning, the government confirmed that a second case of the coronavirus has been detected in Macau.
The director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus had a five per cent mortality rate in the hundreds of confirmed cases.
Lam Chong said that it is necessary to follow the evolution of the situation.
“We have only known this disease for a month. There will be more deaths and more cases. It’s normal. Perhaps in the initial phase, the registered cases are more serious. Now, they have milder symptoms ”, he said, emphasizing that “it is a serious disease ”.
Macau currently has 180 beds prepared to respond to the pneumonia virus, including 60 beds in Coloane. If necessary, the isolation areas can be extended to up to 300 beds.
The authorities also ensured today that there is enough medical personnel during the Lunar New Year festivities.