COVID-19 outbreak tally rises by 22 to 71, another mass testing starts today

2022-06-23 03:53     BY Tony Wong    Comment:0

Macau reported 22 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases yesterday, raising the latest number of cases from 49 to 71 in the ongoing outbreak, which was detected on Saturday, while the government will carry out another mandatory citywide nucleic acid testing (NAT) drive, which will start at 9 a.m. today, but this time the programme will only last 39 hours. 

Moreover, one new cluster, a third one, has been detected, consisting of two people as of yesterday afternoon.

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

Lo also said that the government has decided to launch another round of mass nucleic acid tests after considering the test results of the latest citywide NAT drive, which run for 48 hours from 12 p.m. on Sunday to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, and the fact that a number of residents who tested themselves yesterday for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test kit at home reported a positive result.

The government required residents and others to test themselves yesterday with a rapid antigen test kit at home and report their results on:

As of 3 p.m. yesterday, Lo said, the current outbreak’s number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases had risen to 71.

The 71 COVID-19 carriers, aged between eight months and 89, comprise 51 females and 20 males. According to Lo, 24 of the 71 cases have been classified as confirmed COVID-19 cases as they have come down with symptoms, while the other 47 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 64 of the 71 cases involve three clusters, while the bureau was still carrying out its epidemiological investigations into the other seven cases. Lo’s remarks meant that a new cluster was added yesterday.

At the time of the press conference, according to Lo, the first cluster consisted of 36 people, involving Yim Lai Building where a number of non-resident workers from Myanmar live, while the second cluster consisted of 26 people, involving Tat Cheong Building which is located opposite Yim Lai Building. The third cluster consisted of two people, involving Tim Fung (Macau) Cleaning Service Company Limited.

Yim Lai and Tat Cheong buildings are located in the San Kio neighbourhood. Tim Fung Cleaning Service is a dry-cleaning plant in an industrial building in Avenida de Venceslau de Morais in Areia Preta district.

While the Health Bureau has provisionally concluded that the first two clusters are connected, at the time of yesterday afternoon’s press conference it was still identifying whether the third cluster is connected with either of the first two clusters, Lo said.

Lo said that his bureau has been carrying out follow-up measures for 2,965 other people after epidemiological investigations resulting from the 71 cases.

Health Bureau official Leong Iek Hou said that the first cluster included 13 non-resident workers from Myanmar living in one flat in Yim Lai Building, a resident living on the same floor, four colleagues in the Padre Modern Cuisine restaurant in Nam Van of one of the 13 non-resident workers, a friend of one of the four colleagues, three patrons of the restaurant, a family member of one of the three patrons, employers of two of the 13 non-resident workers, a relative of one of the 13, a friend of one of the 13, and his or her eight colleagues working in a hotel.

The second cluster included a prison staff member and his family members, his colleagues, his relatives, three people seeking outpatient treatment for a fever at a hospital clinic, and six people related to “siu mei” restaurant Lam Kei in San Kio neighbourhood, Leong said.

Lo announced that the new round of mandatory citywide nucleic acid tests will run for just 39 hours from 9 a.m. today to 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, adding that the government will try to come up with all results by 9 a.m. on Saturday. The previous round that ended on Tuesday lasted 48 hours.

The new round of the mass NAT drive will be carried out at 53 stations with a total of 342 sampling counters, comprising 32 general stations – where the tests are free of charge, 14 self-paid stations and seven special care stations. The one that ended on Tuesday comprised 28 general stations, 18 self-paid stations and seven special care stations.

The mandatory tests cover all those who are currently in Macau, not just residents.

Special care stations provide walk-in tests for those who are unable to book a test online.

People can start to book their test at 7 a.m. today.

The government announced yesterday that this time it has rolled out a new measure for special care stations according to which people in general can book a test to be carried out between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. at any of the seven special care stations. 

The government has announced that during the latest mass NAT drive that ended on Tuesday, a total of 34 batches of pooled samples (10 samples per pooled sample) had preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.

Lo said during yesterday’s press conference that as of 4 p.m. yesterday, the Health Bureau had reported 11 positive results from residents and other people who tested themselves with a rapid antigen test kit.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Lo said, around 373,000 people had reported their self-test results on the Health Bureau’s system.

Macau’s first isolation hotel opens 

Meanwhile, the government has arranged England Marina Club Hotel as an isolation facility to receive COVID-19 patients or carriers, which came into operation yesterday evening.

The England Marina Club Hotel is a newly-completed hotel located next to the Pousada Marina Infante hotel in Cotai, which is one of the city’s quarantine hotels.

Lo also said during the press conference that the government has decided to activate the operation of the city’s first COVID-19 isolation hotel due to the continuous increase in Macau’s ongoing outbreak tally.

Makeshift hospital at Macau Dome ready 

Lo underlined that the government can start the operation of a makeshift hospital, officially known as a community treatment centre, at the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai anytime if needed, but the government has decided to start the operation of the England Marina Club Hotel as an isolation facility first, because, he said, an isolation hotel can still handle the current COVID-19 situation and he believed COVID-19 patients or carriers prefer staying in a hotel guestroom to staying at a makeshift hospital.

Zhuhai tightens quarantine for arrivals from Macau

Meanwhile, the Zhuhai health authorities yesterday imposed seven days of hotel quarantine plus seven days of self-health monitoring for arrivals from Macau, a change from seven days of home quarantine plus seven days of self-health monitoring.

Meanwhile, as of last night, 11 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:

Late last night, Macau’s total tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases since January 2020 had risen to 107, while the number of asymptomatic cases stood at 245. 

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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