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COVID-19 outbreak tally rises by 13 to 49, self-testing to start today

2022-06-22 04:09     BY Tony Wong    Comment:3

Macau reported 13 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases yesterday, raising the latest number of cases from 36 to 49 in the ongoing outbreak, which was detected on Saturday night.

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long announced Macau’s latest outbreak tally during yesterday evening’s press conference.

Lo also announced that everyone is required to test themselves today for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test kit that they received when undergoing a nucleic acid test (NAT) during the government’s mandatory citywide COVID-19 drive, which ended at 12 p.m. yesterday.

Lo also said that for the time being the government does not plan to launch another citywide NAT drive. Instead, Lo said, the government will launch today a mandatory NAT programme for those living in key areas affected by COVID-19 and one for key groups of people subject to a high risk of having been infected with COVID-19.

All those tested during the mass NAT drive were handed three COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits to be kept at home for later use.


677,586 tested, 34 batches of pooled samples preliminarily positive

According to a Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre statement late last night, a total of 677,586 people were tested under the 48-hour mass NAT drive, and a total of 34 batches of pooled samples (10 samples per pooled sample) had preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19. All other samples have come up with a negative result, the statement said.

In Macau, a batch of pooled samples normally has 10 swabs taken from testees, also known as “10 mix into 1”. This sampling technique enables laboratories to come up with results in a much shorter time. However, if a batch of pooled samples tests positive, the 10 respective testees will need to have their swabs taken again – in which case their swabs will not be mixed – in order for health officials to identify which of them really tested positive for COVID-19.

Lo said during the press conference that as of yesterday afternoon, the current outbreak’s number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases had risen to 49.

The 49 COVID-19 carriers, aged between eight months and 89, comprise 36 females and 13 males. According to Lo, 15 of the 49 cases have been classified as confirmed COVID-19 cases as they have come down with symptoms, while the other 34 have been classified as asymptomatic cases as they had not developed any symptoms as of yesterday afternoon.

Lo said that his bureau has provisionally concluded that 47 of the 49 cases involve two clusters, while the bureau was still carrying out its epidemiological investigations in an attempt to identify the other two cases’ possible connection with either of the clusters. Lo’s remarks meant that no new cluster was added yesterday.

According to Lo, the first cluster consists of 28 people, including non-resident workers from Myanmar and other individuals, while the second cluster consists of 19 people, including a prison staff member, his family members, relatives, and other individuals.

Lo also said that all of the 49 COVID-19 carriers were in a stable condition, adding that none of them were in a serious condition.

Lo also noted that the latest research data worldwide indicate that in case of COVID-19 infection, unvaccinated senior citizens will run the risk of dying from the novel coronavirus disease 30 times more than their vaccinated peers.

Health Bureau official Leong Iek Hou said that her bureau has been carrying out follow-up measures for 2,142 other people after epidemiological investigations resulting from the 49 cases, including 304 close contacts, 1,229 who had visited the same places as the COVID-19 carriers at around the same time, and 164 secondary close contacts.


Closures of govt offices & banks for 3 more days

The government announced yesterday that it has decided to continue to suspend all public administration services for three more days, from today to Friday, except urgent and indispensable ones. The decision was announced by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng in an executive order published in the Official Gazette (BO) yesterday.

In addition, the government also announced yesterday that all banks and outlets of insurance companies will remain closed for three more days, from today to Friday. The operations of ATMs and online banking will, however, continue as normal, but operations involving certain services such as deposits and loans will be postponed, a Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM) statement said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Lo said during yesterday’s press conference that the operation of a number of hotels that have been earmarked for isolation facilities are ready, meaning that they can now start to receive COVID-19 patients or carriers if needed. As the Health Bureau’s Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane still has a number of isolation beds available, Lo said, the operations of these hotels have still not started.

Lo also said that the government has completed setting up a makeshift hospital, officially known as a community treatment centre, at the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai, adding that it can start to house COVID-19 patients or carriers today if needed.


Details of rapid antigen tests

A Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre statement late last night announced details of the measure requiring residents and others in the city to test themselves for COVID-19.

The statement said that the government has decided to roll out the measure after considering the test results of the mass NAT drive that ended at 12 p.m. yesterday.

Operation instructions and other details about a COVID-19 rapid antigen test in English can be checked at: https://www.ssm.gov.mo/apps1/covidagtest/en.aspx

The statement said that after testing themselves for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test kit, residents and others will have to report their results on: https://app.ssm.gov.mo/generalrat

The link is also available on the frontpage of the Macau Health Code system.

According to the statement, those who have come up with a positive result will have their Macau Health Code colour turn red. They should then call an ambulance that will take them to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre for a nucleic acid test, regardless of whether they have come down with a fever or other respiratory symptoms.

Details of the rapid antigen test measure in English can be checked at: https://www.gov.mo/en/news/271512/


Details of key-area & key-group tests

Another statement by the centre late last night announced details of the government’s mandatory NAT programme for key areas and one for key groups of people.

The statement said that the government has decided to roll out the two testing programmes with the aim of screening potential COVID-19 carriers in the community.

According to the statement, the key-area testing programme covers those who live, work or engage in other activities in an area surrounded by Avenida de Horta e Costa, Rua do Almirante Costa Cabral, Estrada do Repouso, and Avenida do Almirante Lacerda.

They are required to book a test between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. today at: https://eservice.ssm.gov.mo/allpeoplernatestbook

According to the statement, the key-group testing programme covers holders of a Myanmar passport who work or live in Macau, and those who had the “same tracks” as those who were confirmed as a COVID-19 carrier afterwards, in testing stations run under the mass NAT drive.

They are required to book a test today at: https://app.ssm.gov.mo/mandatoryrnatestbook

The statement also said that those covered by the two programmes are required to have a negative result of a rapid antigen test at their home first before being allowed to go to the testing stations for their nucleic acid tests.

Details about the two testing programmes in English can be checked at: https://www.gov.mo/en/news/271504/

Meanwhile, as of last night, nine residential buildings, two shops (the Padre Modern Cuisine restaurant and “siu mei” restaurant Lam Kei), and a hotel (Hotel Fortuna) have been classified as red code zones (lockdowns), while five residential buildings have been classified as yellow code zones. The latest list of the red and yellow code zones in English can be checked at: https://www.gov.mo/en/news/271333/ 


Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long addresses yesterday’s press conference about the city’s latest COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: GCS


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  • visitors2022062600:312022-06-26 00:31

    今輪疫情首次全民快速抗原檢測,及首次重點區域檢測及首次重點人群檢測已於6月22日星期三進行。在6月24日星期五晚,應變協調中心公佈,於6月25日星期六進行一次全民快速抗原檢測,及一次重點區域檢測 (區域與上次有所不同)。然而,應變協調中心在6月25日星期六早上再公佈,當天及明天6月26日星期日每天進行一次全民快速抗原檢測。

  • visitors2022062601:452022-06-26 01:45

    6月22日的重點區域檢測對象為:在高士德大馬路、賈伯樂提督街、鏡湖馬路、及提督馬路圍封成的區域居住、工作或活動的人士。同一天的重點人群檢測對象為:持緬甸護照在澳門工作或生活的人士,及全民核檢期間與陽性個案有共同軌跡的人士。當天中午,應變協調中心公佈補充說明,重點區域檢測對象即:6月16日或之後曾在上述地點逗留總時間超過1小時的人士。而重點人群檢測對象中的與陽性個案有共同軌跡的人士,即是指:全民核檢期間與陽性個案檢測地點和時間有重疊的人士。至於6月25日的重點區域檢測對象則為:白鴿巢公園、盧九公園、義字街各鋪位、祐漢新村第一街至第八街各鋪位的工作人員、慕拉士大馬路富大工業大廈的工作人員、友誼大馬路新建業商業中心的工作人員、及其他曾於6月18日之後在上址逗留超過半小時的人士。

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