NAT fee lowered to 80 patacas at Pac On & Macau Forum

2021-06-11 04:02     Comment:1

Addressing yesterday’s press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus situation, Tai Wa Hou, the coordinator of the Health Bureau’s (SSM) COVID-19 vaccination programme, announced that the fee for a nucleic acid test (NAT) at the Pac On testing station in the Taipa Ferry Terminal and the Macau Forum testing station in Zape is further lowered to 80 patacas from 90 patacas from today.

According to Tai, the other three testing stations in Macau for residents and other people to book a paid nucleic acid test are not covered by the 10-pataca price cut.

The three NAT stations not covered by the fee reduction announced yesterday are 1) the station at the private Kiang Wu Hospital, 2) the station at the University Hospital run by the private Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), and 3) the station at the Workers Stadium next to the Barrier Gate border checkpoint, which is jointly run by the local Macau Federation of Trade Unions (Gung Luen) – which operates the stadium, Guangdong Nam Yue Group Corporation Limited – which is owned by the Guangdong provincial government, and Guangzhou KingMed Diagnostics Group Company Limited.

Tai noted that the Pac On station and the Macau Forum station are run by the same testing institution – Kuok Kim (Macau) Hygiene Examination Company Limited – in collaboration with the Health Bureau, because of which, Tai said, his bureau discussed a possible NAT fee cut with Kuok Kim first. Tai underlined that his bureau has also contacted and discussed a possible testing fee cut with the other three NAT stations, which run their own NAT services without cooperation with the Health Bureau, adding that the operators of the three NAT stations are still considering a possible fee cut.

“The Pac On station and the Macau Forum station are the two NAT stations run in collaboration with the Health Bureau. When we discussed a possible fee cut, of course we had to discuss the matter with the testing institution [Kuok Kim] first. After calculating the cost, the testing institution agreed to lower the NAT fee to 80 patacas,” Tai said.

“Concerning the other three testing institutions, they actually run their own NAT services without a cooperation relationship with the Health Bureau. Of course we have contacted them to discuss whether they can lower their NAT fee, but they are still considering,” Tai said.

The Health Bureau has commissioned Kuok Kim to carry out COVID-19 testing under the government’s NAT scheme, which was launched in May last year, at two testing stations – the main one at the Pac On ferry terminal and the other one at the Macau Forum complex.

Kiang Wu Hospital, which is located on the peninsula, and the University Hospital, which is located on the MUST campus in Taipa, joined the government’s NAT scheme in August and September last year respectively.

The Workers Stadium NAT station came into service in March this year.

According to previous Health Bureau announcements, Kiang Wu Hospital, the University Hospital, and the Gung Luen-Nam Yue-KingMed consortium had respectively applied to provide COVID-19 testing service under the government’s NAT scheme network so that it is not a service outsourced by the government, unlike Kuok Kim which has been commissioned by the government to carry out COVID-19 testing under its NAT scheme.

The fee of each COVID-19 test was 180 patacas when the government’s NAT programme was launched in May last year, before it was lowered to 120 patacas in August.

The NAT fee was lowered to 100 patacas in November last year, before it was further lowered to 90 patacas in March this year.

In Hong Kong, a nucleic acid test costs HK$240 at Community Testing Centres across the city, which are run by different testing institutions commissioned by the government.

Latest COVID-19 patient carries Alpha variant

Meanwhile, Tai announced that Macau’s latest COVID-19 patient, the 52nd case, which has been classified as imported, has been diagnosed with carrying the B.1.1.7 Alpha variant – the mutant strain that was first detected in the United Kingdom that is more contagious than the original novel coronavirus.

Macau’s 52nd COVID-19 case was confirmed on Wednesday, a 21-year-old local man studying in Taiwan who returned to Macau on Sunday last week.

Post-quarantine ‘self-health management’ for arrivals from Taiwan

Meanwhile, the Health Bureau’s Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou announced during yesterday’s press conference that from today those who have completed their 21-day hotel quarantine in Macau after arriving from Taiwan are required to practise seven additional days of “self-health management”.

During the seven-day “self-health management”, according to Leong, their Macau Health Code will be yellow. It will return to green after completing the “self-health management” if they test negative for COVID-19 in a follow-up nucleic acid test which is carried out on the 27th day after they have entered Macau from Taiwan, Leong said.

The Macau government extended its hotel quarantine period for arrivals from Taiwan from 14 to 21 days around the middle of last month. Before today, those who had completed their 21-day quarantine in Macau after arriving from Taiwan were not required to practise “self-health management”.

Tai Wa Hou, the coordinator of the Health Bureau’s (SSM) COVID-19 vaccination programme, addresses yesterday’s press conference about the city’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Photo: GCS

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  • visitors2021061619:252021-06-16 19:25

    During the June 10 press conference, Tai also said that about 20,000 BioNTech doses were still in stock, while about 300,000 Sinopharm doses were still left.