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Macau to ban all foreign passenger flights Jan 9-23

2022-01-06 03:38     Comment:0

The Macau government announced yesterday that it will ban all passenger flights from all foreign countries between Sunday next week and January 23, with the aim of reducing the potential risk of the novel coronavirus to the city’s public health.

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced the 15-day ban, which will be in effect from 00:00 on January 9 (Sunday) to 23:59 on January 23, in a statement last night.

“The Health Bureau will bar civil aircraft transporting passengers from flying to Macau from any regions outside China,” the statement said.

Currently, Macau’s airport is running regular passenger flights with cities in the mainland and a regular passenger flight with only one foreign country – Singapore. There are currently no regular passenger flights between Macau and Taiwan.

According to the one-China policy, the nation comprises the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. 


Macau confirms its 3rd Omicron case

Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced yesterday that the 27-year-old local woman who returned to Macau from the United Kingdom and whose asymptomatic case was announced on Monday has now been diagnosed with carrying the Omicron variant, which raised Macau’s Omicron variant tally to three.

A statement by the centre, which was released yesterday afternoon, said that the case was still asymptomatic as the woman had still not come down with any COVID-19 symptoms – because of which the case has not been added to the city’s novel coronavirus tally.

Consequently, as of last night, Macau’s COVID-19 tally remained at 79.

The 27-year-old woman received two Pfizer BioNTech mRNA jabs, in April and May respectively. She tested negative for COVID-19 in a nucleic acid test (NAT) in the UK on Friday. She flew from London to Singapore on Sunday and caught a connecting flight from Singapore to Macau the next day where she tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival. Her condition has been classified as an imported case.

Yesterday’s statement said that the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Public Health Laboratory carried out viral genome sequencing for the case, which came up with the result yesterday confirming the woman’s infection as being with the Omicron variant, the third case of its kind detected in Macau.


2 close contacts of woman returning from UK test positive for COVID-19

Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre also announced yesterday that two air passengers who have been classified as close contacts of the 27-year-old asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier tested positive for the novel coronavirus yesterday.

The centre classified the two cases as imported and asymptomatic, because of which they have not been added to Macau’s novel coronavirus tally.

According to a statement by the centre yesterday evening, the first close contact, a 32-year-old woman, a family member of the 27-year-old woman, returned to Macau from London via Singapore with the 27-year-old. The 32-year-old received two mRNA jabs, in June and July respectively.

According to yesterday evening’s statement, the second close contact, a 47-year-old man, sat three rows in front of the 27-year-old woman on the Singapore-Macau flight on Monday.

The 47-year-old man received two inactivated COVID-19 jabs, in June and July respectively. He tested negative for COVID-19 in a nucleic acid test in the United States on Friday. He flew from Los Angeles to Singapore the next day and caught a connecting flight from Singapore to Macau on Monday.

However, according to yesterday evening’s statement, both the 32-year-old woman and the 47-year-old man tested negative for the novel coronavirus upon arrival at the local airport on Monday. As both had been classified as close contacts of the 27-year-old woman, they were transferred to the Health Bureau’s Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane that day for quarantine.

Both close contacts still tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday, before testing positive for the novel coronavirus yesterday, the statement said.


Arrival from Philippines has COVID-19

Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced late last night that a 60-year-old local resident returning from the Philippines tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

The case has also been classified as imported and asymptomatic, because of which it has not been added to Macau’s COVID-19 tally.

According to last night’s statement, the woman received two BioNTech mRNA jabs, in March and April respectively. She tested negative for COVID-19 in three nucleic acid tests in the Philippines, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. She flew to Singapore on Tuesday and caught a connecting flight from Singapore to Macau yesterday where she tested positive for the novel coronavirus upon arrival.


Omicron variant and other major or previous variants concerning SARS-CoV-2 depicted in a tree scaled radially by genetic distance, derived from NextStrain on December 1, 2021.
– Courtesy of Soupvector/Wikimedia Commons

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