macaupost

Macau to consult mainland on quarantine exemption for HK arrivals: Tai

2021-07-06 03:44     Comment:1

Addressing yesterday’s press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus situation, Tai Wa Hou, a clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said that the Macau government’s possible quarantine-free travel arrangements for arrivals from Hong Kong could only get off the ground after its discussions with the mainland’s health authorities on the matter have been completed, as Macau has always been carrying out its COVID-19 measures in conjunction with the mainland’s.

The Macau government first announced two weeks ago – when Hong Kong had not recorded a new local COVID-19 for 14 consecutive days – that “conditional” exemptions from the Macau government’s quarantine requirement for arrivals from Hong Kong were to be implemented in phases if the neighbouring city had zero new local COVID-19 cases for at least 28 consecutive days.

However, Hong Kong confirmed a new local COVID-19 case on June 24, a 27-year-old male airport ground-crew member, causing its record of zero local infections for 16 consecutive days to be over. Hong Kong reported one more local COVID-19 case on Sunday last week, a 24-year-old woman who had been in close contact with the 27-year-old man. Hong Kong’s health authorities initially classified the 27-year-old’s case as an untraceable local case and the 24-year-old’s case as a local case “connected to another local case”, before on Tuesday last week finally classifying both cases as “connected to imported cases”.

The COVID-19 developments in Hong Kong – following the Macau government’s first announcement on June 21 about the possible quarantine-free travel arrangements for arrivals from Hong Kong – led the Macau government to decide not to strictly adhere to the initially-announced 28-day requirement. The Macau government said on Thursday that the quarantine-free travel arrangements for arrivals from Hong Kong could start if Hong Kong has zero new local COVID-19 cases for at least 14 consecutive days, as long as these local cases are “connected to imported cases” or those whose sources of infections have been clearly identified, and the cases do not cause COVID-19 community transmissions there.

In its latest COVID-19 developments, Hong Kong reported another local COVID-19 case on Friday, a 41-year-old woman who works as a cleaner at a quarantine hotel. Hong Kong’s health authorities initially classified her case as an untraceable local case, before yesterday classifying it as “connected to an imported case”. She had cleaned the room of an Indonesian woman who had earlier been confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19.

During yesterday’s press conference, reporters continued to ask about the schedule as to when the possible quarantine-free travel arrangement for arrivals from Hong Kong would finally get off the ground.

If Hong Kong had not had the 27-year-old, the 24-year-old and the 41-year-old patients’ cases, it would have had zero new local COVID-19 cases for 28 consecutive days as of yesterday.

Tai noted that Hong Kong had recently reported one more local COVID-19 case, the woman working in the quarantine hotel there, because of which, he said, the Macau government would need more time to monitor and assess the subsequent COVID-19 developments in Hong Kong, such as whether this case will cause COVID-19 community transmissions, before deciding when the quarantine exemption for arrivals from Hong Kong could be implemented.

‘Situation complicated’

Tai also underlined that the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong now has changed from the previous situation when the Macau government first announced the 28-day requirement, as Hong Kong has recently reported a number of new local COVID-19 cases, including the latest one which is the woman working in the quarantine hotel. “The situation has now become a bit complicated, and we are constantly monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 developments in Hong Kong,” Tai said.

Tai also pointed out that since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak Macau has always been in close cooperation with the mainland authorities in their joint COVID-19 prevention and control work, because of which, he said, Macau has always been implementing its COVID-19 prevention measures in line with the mainland’s.

Consequently, Tai said that concerning any measures to relax its entry curbs for arrivals from Hong Kong, the Macau government would need to discuss the matter with the mainland’s health authorities. Only after the assessments on the matter jointly carried out by the Macau and mainland authorities are concluded, could the proposal about how to implement quarantine exemptions for those arriving in Macau from Hong Kong be finally concluded and decided, Tai said, reaffirming that the Macau government would make an announcement once the schedule as to when the scheme will get off the ground has been finally decided.

“In other words, the matter will also depend on the results of discussions between the mainland and Hong Kong [about their possible quarantine-free travel arrangements],” Tai said.

Macau has not recorded a new local COVID-19 case for 463 consecutive days.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, 373,898 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 249,564 people in Macau, comprising 123,771 who had received their first jab and 125,793 who had received their second jab.

A total of 33 adverse events were reported in the past 24 hours (until 4 p.m. yesterday). The total number of adverse events since the start of the vaccination drive stood at 1,613, or 0.43 percent of the total number of jabs, including five serious cases.

Latest COVID-19 patient carries delta variant

Meanwhile, Tai also announced that Macau’s latest COVID-19 patient, the 55th case, which has been classified as imported, has been diagnosed with carrying the delta variant – the mutant strain that was first detected in India. Macau’s 55th COVID-19 case was confirmed on Saturday, a 22-year-old local woman studying in the United Kingdom who returned to Macau that day.

Macau confirmed its first COVID-19 case on January 22 last year. Among the 55 cases confirmed so far, 53 have been classified as imported, while two cases have been classified as “connected to imported cases”.

Tai said that the first 52 patients have been cured and discharged from hospital. No COVID-19 fatalities have been reported in Macau.

Tai also said that the novel coronavirus carried by Macau’s 54th COVID-19 patient, also an imported case, has been confirmed as having the D614G and N501Y mutations. However, Tai said that the Health Bureau (SSM) has been unable to detect which variant (such as alpha, beta, delta or gamma) the patient, a 20-year-old local woman studying in the UK, has been infected with as she only had a very low viral load.


Tai Wa Hou, one of the three clinical directors of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, addresses yesterday’s press conference about the city’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Photo: Tony Wong

BACK HOME
MORE NEWS
COMMENT
Click refresh authentication code
  • visitors2021070604:482021-07-06 04:48

    戴華浩:因為香港近日出現一宗檢疫酒店工作人員感染個案,我們真的需要多些時間觀察整個事件的發展,包括她有否去到社區而引致一些感染,或她本身是哪一類病毒感染,是否感染,是否只是污染,我們都正在觀察中;同時,因為其實澳門與內地在疫情聯防聯控方面,都是密切合作的,兩地一直都是採取一致的防疫措施,所以,我們在放寬香港居民入境澳門限制的安排方面,是需要與內地相關部門進一步溝通和評估,才可以達成這個方案,具體實行時間,我們都是這樣說,另行公佈,有具體時間一定會向大家另行公佈。

TODAY'S COVER