Current COVID-19 outbreak results in 1st ‘serious but stable’ case, outbreak tally rises to 391

2022-06-28 03:36     BY Tony Wong    Comment:1

The latest tally of Macau’s current COVID-19 outbreak has reached 391, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced during yesterday evening’s press conference.

The current outbreak’s latest tally of 391 was up by 92 from the 299 cases announced during Sunday evening’s press conference.

The government also announced yesterday that it has reported a serious COVID-19 case, the first one of the current outbreak, a 60-year-old woman with chronic diseases.

Leong Iek Hou, who heads the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division of the Health Bureau (SSM), announced the current outbreak’s latest tally and case details during yesterday evening’s daily press conference.

From yesterday, the government started to announce every morning the number of the current outbreak’s new local cases detected between 00:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on the previous day.

A statement by the centre yesterday morning announced that the tally had risen to 357 as of Sunday night. 

After being asked by reporters during yesterday evening’s press conference, Leong said that the latest tally had risen to 391 shortly before the press conference. Consequently, Leong only announced case details about the total of the 357 cases that had been reported as of Sunday night.

According to Leong, 88 of the 357 cases have been classified as confirmed COVID-19 cases as they came down with symptoms, while the other 269 were classified as asymptomatic cases as they had not developed any symptoms. The 357 COVID-19 carriers are aged between eight months and 89.

Leong underlined that her bureau has provisionally concluded that 327 of the 357 cases involved 10 clusters, while the bureau was still carrying out its epidemiological investigations into the other 30 cases.

Leong also said that 50 of the 96 new local cases reported on Sunday were detected in the community, while the other 46 were detected among COVID-19 carriers subject to control measures such as lockdowns and quarantine.

Serious case had received 3 jabs

While the serious COVID-19 case announced yesterday is the first one of the current outbreak, it is not the first one in Macau since the pandemic started in January 2020. Before the one announced yesterday, Macau reported a serious COVID-19 case in 2020 and the patient made a full recovery after hospital treatment.

According to Leong, the serious case announced yesterday is a 60-year-old chronically ill woman who had previously received three Sinopharm inactivated jabs, i.e., having received a booster jab after having been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The woman was suffering from shortness of breath and a low level of blood oxygen, Leong said, adding that blood tests and a chest CT scan show that she has come down with double pneumonia.

Consequently, Leong said, doctors have given the woman symptomatic treatments, i.e., treatments that merely aim to relieve the symptoms, alongside COVID-19 antiviral medication.

The Health Bureau has meanwhile classified the woman’s case as a serious one, but her condition remained stable at the time of yesterday evening’s press conference, Leong said.

Outbreak still on rise

Meanwhile, Leong also noted that Macau has now reported almost 100 new local cases a day, which she said has indicated that the current COVID-19 outbreak is still on an upward trend. 

A positive thing about the current COVID-19 situation, Leong said, is that compared to initially during the current outbreak, which was detected on June 18, a higher percentage of newly reported local cases a day have been detected among COVID-19 carriers subject to control measures. But she was quick to add that the government would still need more time to assess whether the COVID-19 situation has started to improve.

Leong said that multiple rounds of mandatory mass nucleic acid tests (NATs), testing programmes for key areas and key groups of people, and self-testing measures (rapid antigen tests/RATs) have been effective in helping the local government’s ongoing work in its attempt to bring the current outbreak under control, because, she said, these measures have enabled the government to detect COVID-19 carriers in the community and their close contacts, who will then be quarantined, as early as possible. Concerning the government’s work to bring the outbreak under control, Leong said that “we can see the light at the end of the tunnel”. 

Leong also said that for the time being the local government can tackle the current COVID-19 outbreak without the need to ask the central government for assistance.

Leong also said that the local government can only decide whether to roll out any new measures to fight the current COVID-19 outbreak after assessing the final results of the ongoing round, the current outbreak’s third one, of mass nucleic acid tests.

The ongoing mandatory citywide NAT drive, which started at 9 a.m. yesterday, ends at 6 p.m. today.

5 batches of “10 mix into 1” samples positive as of last night

Meanwhile, according to a Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre statement last night, as of 9 p.m. yesterday 326,062 people had had their swabs taken for COVID-19 tests under the ongoing mass NAT drive, 87,373 of whom had come up with a negative result. However, as of 9 p.m. yesterday five batches of pooled samples (also known as “10 mix into 1”) had tested positive.

According to previous government announcements, 34 batches and 72 batches of pooled samples tested positive for COVID-19 during the current outbreak’s first and second citywide NAT drives respectively.

The first two mass NAT drives were carried out last week.

Meanwhile, all banks and outlets of insurance companies will remain closed for five more days – after their closures last week since the current COVID-19 outbreak – this week, from yesterday through Friday. The operations of ATMs and online banking, however, continue as normal. 

A health worker answers questions from a resident at a mobile sampling vehicle run during the ongoing citywide COVID-19 testing drive, which has been converted from a public bus, near Hac Sa Beach in Coloane yesterday. Photo: MPDG

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