Dynamic zero-COVID ‘only and best’ choice for Macau: health chief

2022-05-12 03:42     Comment:0

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long underlined yesterday that for the time being dynamic zero-COVID is certainly Macau’s “only and best” choice for its COVID-19 prevention and control work.

The health chief also underlined the need for Macau to continue to carry out its COVID-19 measures in close coordination with the mainland.

Lo made the remarks while speaking to reporters after attending a current affairs phone-in programme hosted by Ou Mun Tin Toi, the Chinese-language radio channel of public broadcaster TDM.

Lo said that an important principle for COVID-19 prevention and control for a place is that its government should implement COVID-19 measures in line with the place’s real situation.

Lo asked rhetorically whether Macau’s civil society would accept a possible scenario in which the city reports a large number of COVID-19 deaths as a result of the local government’s decision to drop the dynamic zero-COVID approach.

Lo underlined that only if Macau continues to carry out its COVID-19 measures in conjunction with the mainland by sticking to the dynamic zero-COVID approach, can residents maintain their normal daily lives.

Lo said that dynamic zero-COVID will continue to be Macau’s overall policy for COVID-19 prevention and control, pledging that the Health Bureau will resolutely maintain such an approach, and will not change it.

Lo said that if Macau is hit by a COVID-19 outbreak due to the government’s decision to implement relaxed measures, in case the city starts to confirm new local cases, the government would then need to bring the outbreak under control by taking measures that would be up to 100 times more severe than what the government would have needed to do if it had chosen to bring the transmissions under control at the earliest stage possible through resolute, accurate and quick measures.

Lo said that in case Macau has a COVID-19 outbreak, civil society’s different sectors ought to be of the same mind about how the government should bring it under control.

11.6 pct of population still isn’t jabbed

Meanwhile, Lo noted during yesterday’s phone-in programme that Macau’s COVID-19 vaccination rate reached 88.4 percent yesterday, which he said means that 11.6 percent of the population had still not been inoculated against the novel coronavirus.

Lo noted that Macau’s COVID-19 vaccination rates among seniors and those with chronic diseases are still not high enough. Lo underlined that for the time being the local government will not force unvaccinated residents to get inoculated, and instead will continue to intensify and diversify its campaigns to boost COVID-19 vaccinations.

Lo reassured the public that the government will continue to stick to its principle that COVID-19 vaccinations should only be administered on a voluntary basis.

During yesterday’s phone-in programmes, Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) President Wilson Hon Wai noted that Macau’s latest COVID-19 vaccination rate among those aged 80 or over is still below 50 percent, pledging that the government will continue with its campaigns to boost inoculations for senior citizens.

Hon also said that 83.5 percent of those living in the city’s retirement homes and other social service residential facilities for senior citizens have received at least one COVID-19 jab, while the jab rate among those living in the city’s rehabilitation centres currently stands at 89 percent. 

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long addresses yesterday’s phone-in programme hosted by public broadcaster TDM’s Chinese-language radio channel.
Photo courtesy of TDM

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