Under 1 pct of recent COVID-19 infectees catch virus for 2nd time: Lo

2023-05-15 02:55     BY Tony Wong    Comment:2

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long has revealed that less than one percent of the COVID-19 infectees over recent days have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus for the second time, while all the others have caught the virus for the first time.

Dr Lo made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the Macao Polytechnic University (MPU) campus in Zape on Saturday after attending the opening ceremony for a one-day academic conference in celebration of International Nurses Day (IND) on Friday.

Dr Lo’s remarks on Saturday came after he first revealed on Thursday that most of the COVID-19 infectees over recent days have been infected with the novel coronavirus for the first time, while others have caught the virus for the second time.

Dr Lo also reaffirmed on Saturday that Omicron XBB is the currently prevalent subvariant in Macau.

The health chief reaffirmed on Saturday that most of the COVID-19 infectees over recent days had never caught the novel coronavirus previously, while less than one percent of them have been infected for the second time.

Macau suffered its first peak of widespread COVID-19 infections around the Christmas holiday following the local government’s decision to abandon its long-running dynamic zero-COVID approach on December 8. A one-month period transitioning the city from the zero-COVID approach ended on January 8, when the local government started to tackle COVID-19 as an endemic disease.

Dr Lo said on Saturday that the city’s immunity against COVID-19 is now still relatively strong, because over 80 percent of the population, as the local government has estimated, has been infected with COVID-19, and all of them were infected less than six months ago.

However, Dr Lo warned that senior citizens and those with chronic diseases should not let their guard down against COVID-19 because they are more likely to be infected with COVID-19 for the second time compared to the population in general.

Dr Lo also reaffirmed that as more and more of the population will have been infected with COVID-19 over six months ago in the near future, the level of immunity against COVID-19 in the population in general is expected to wane.

According to announcements by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, six new COVID-19 patients were admitted to treatment facilities on Thursday, one at the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre and five at the private Kiang Wu Hospital.

Seven new COVID-19 patients were hospitalised on Friday – two at the public hospital and five at Kiang Wu, while two new patients were admitted to Kiang Wu on Saturday.

Consequently, a total of 51 new COVID-19 patients were admitted to treatment facilities between May 1 and May 13.

Last month, there were only two days when Macau had new COVID-19 patients admitted to treatment facilities – two on April 25 and three on April 27.

According to the latest available official statistics, as of Saturday Macau’s cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 3,571, including 121 fatalities. 

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Alvis Lo Iek Long talks to reporters on the Macao Polytechnic University (MPU) campus in Zape on Saturday. – Photo courtesy of TDM

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