Nos. of new COVID-19 patients & fatalities remain at low levels during CNY, meeting govt’s forecast

2023-01-30 03:50     BY Tony Wong    Comment:4

Macau’s daily number of new COVID-19 patients admitted to the Health Bureau’s (SSM) isolation and treatment facilities remained at low levels during the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday period, and the city’s official COVID-19 death toll had just risen by four from 116 to 120 during the period, according to official figures.

Macau’s COVID-19 situation during the CNY period echoed Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s remarks on January 12 when he told reporters that it would be “unlikely” for Macau to be hit by widespread COVID-19 infections again during the CNY period. The Chinese New Year of the Rabbit fell on January 22, i.e., the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar.

Official figures released yesterday showed that just two new COVID-19 patients were admitted to the Health Bureau’s isolation and treatment facilities on Saturday.

From January 19 to Friday last week, according to previous statements by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, the new daily numbers of patients admitted to the isolation and treatment facilities after having been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease were six, seven, six, five, two, one, three, one, and three.

Therefore, 36 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to the isolation and treatment facilities in 10 days, from January 19 to Saturday last week.

Macau’s highest daily number of new COVID-19 patients admitted to the Health Bureau’s isolation and treatment facilities stood at 145 on December 29, following the local government’s decision to abandon its long-running dynamic zero-COVID approach early last month.

According to the Health Bureau’s COVID-19 website, which was updated yesterday, Macau’s official cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 3,485, of which 3,357 had meanwhile been cured.

No daily fatalities in 7 of 10 days

Moreover, no daily COVID-19 fatalities were recorded in seven of the 10 days from January 19 to Saturday.

According to previous statements by the centre, Macau recorded one COVID-19 fatality on January 21, one on January 22, and two on Wednesday last week, raising the death toll from 116 to 120.

The four victims, one male and three females, aged between 60 and 95, had all suffered from underlying diseases, according to the statements.

According to the statements, two of them had not been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, or 50 percent.

After Macau had the highest daily number of new COVID-19 fatalities of nine on January 5, the new daily number of fatalities has been declining.

Macau’s first six COVID-19 fatalities were reported during Macau’s previous COVID-19 outbreak that began on June 18 last year and started to subside in late July, colloquially known as 618 outbreak in Cantonese. The Macau government was pursuing a dynamic zero-COVID approach when the city was hit by the 618 outbreak.

Macau’s seventh COVID-19 fatality was reported on December 13, a few days after the Macau government switched to its “adjusted” anti-COVID-19 approach, that implicitly allows constant transmissions of the novel coronavirus in the community, on December 8.

Macau suffered its first peak of widespread COVID-19 infections around the Christmas holiday period.

The Macau government ended the city’s transition period tackling COVID-19 on January 8, which began on December 8 when it commenced its gradual easing of COVID-19 curbs.

COVID-19 has become an endemic disease in Macau following the termination of the anti-COVID-19 transition period.

The Health Bureau has said that in the new landscape where COVID-19 is now endemic in Macau, the novel coronavirus will constantly exist and spread in the community, meaning that the city is expected to continue to be affected by a periodic occurrence of relatively small-scale peaks of COVID-19 infections in the foreseeable future, like elsewhere in the world.

The Health Bureau has also said that those who have been infected with COVID-19 can choose to visit Health Bureau (SSM) facilities or other private medical institutions for treatment after considering their symptoms and health conditions. COVID-19 infectees with only mild symptoms can go to work.

The Health Bureau has also urged everyone in Macau to continue wearing a facemask when they are in public places during the current post-transition period. 

Locals and tourists alike throng Rua de S. Paulo on Saturday. – Photo: Tony Wong

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