macaupost

Govt urges students not to breach rules during hotel quarantine

2020-03-23 04:31     Comment:0

4 more imported cases yesterday raise COVID-19 total to 22

Addressing yesterday evening’s daily press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Inês Chan Lou, who heads the Licensing and Inspection Department of the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), urged local students who have returned to Macau from overseas and are undergoing quarantine at government-designated hotels not to leave their guestrooms during the 14-day quarantine period, adding that they will be held criminally responsible if they are found to have breached the official quarantine rules.

Her remarks came after more and more local students enrolled overseas are returning to Macau and going into 14-day quarantine at government-designated hotels compelling the local government to open more and more quarantine hotels. By last night, the government had opened seven quarantine hotels – two on the peninsula, four in Taipa/Cotai and one in Coloane.

Macau residents returning from foreign countries are directly transported to a government-designated hotel for 14-days medical surveillance. Non-resident workers and visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who have visited a foreign country within the 14 days prior to their arrival here are also directly taken to a designated hotel for 14-days medical surveillance.

Foreign non-resident workers and visitors are currently prohibited from entering Macau.

During yesterday’s press conference at the Health Bureau (SSM) adjacent to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, SSM Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that 308 more people went into the 14-day medical surveillance on Saturday – comprising 301 Macau residents and seven non-Macau residents. A total of 206 of the 310 Macau residents are students returning from overseas. Leong said that on Saturday 1,867 people were still undergoing their 14-day medical surveillance – 658 in home quarantine, 1,143 in hotel quarantine and 66 in the public hospital as they are showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Chan said that as of yesterday afternoon 1,394 people were under 14-day medical surveillance at the government’s then six designated hotels – comprising 1,229 Macau residents, 127 non-resident workers and 38 foreign nationals. Last night, the government added one more quarantine hotel. 



Inês Chan Lou, who heads the Macau Government Tourism Office’s (MGTO) Licensing and Inspection Department, addresses yesterday’s press conference at the Health Bureau (SSM) about the city’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Photo: GCS

Students leaving their rooms 

Chan said that some local students returning from overseas have been found to be leaving their guestrooms, adding that some of them even went to the lobbies of the hotels. Chan underlined that SSM officials have briefed the students on the official guidelines for their hotel quarantine, urging them to always obey them. 
Chan reaffirmed that those who have breached the official hotel quarantine guidelines breach the Law on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases and therefore could be held criminally responsible.

1 case on Saturday, 4 cases yesterday

Macau confirmed a new COVID-19 case on Saturday night and four new COVID-19 cases yesterday – Macau’s 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd cases. Including the five new cases, Macau has confirmed 22 COVID-19 cases since January 22, when the first case – a tourist from Wuhan – was diagnosed with the highly infectious disease. 

After having not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 39 consecutive days between February 5 and March 14, Macau has confirmed 12 new cases since last Sunday (March 15), all of them imported. The 12 new patients include five local students enrolled overseas. 

Macau’s previous last two COVID-19 cases, the 9th and 10th cases, were confirmed on February 4. All of the previous 10 COVID-19 patients – seven tourists from Wuhan and three locals – have been discharged from hospital, with the last one – a 64-year-old local woman – discharged on March 6.

According to the local government’s announcements yesterday, Macau’s 18th COVID-19 patient is a 50-year-old local woman who travelled to the United States late last month to visit her two sons and a daughter who are studying there and returned to Macau with the trio on Saturday, while the 19th COVID-19 patient is one of the woman’s three children – a 19-year-old local man. Macau’s 20th COVID-19 patient is a 20-year-old local man enrolled in the United Kingdom who returned to Macau on Tuesday, while Macau’s 21st COVID-19 patient is a 19-year-old local woman enrolled in the United Kingdom who returned to Macau on Wednesday. Macau’s 22nd COVID-19 patient is a 44-year-old local man who returned to Macau yesterday from Dublin via Frankfurt.

According to the local government’s announcements yesterday about the five latest COVID-19 cases, the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st patients were in normal condition, not showing any signs of illness whatsoever, while the condition of the 22nd patient was not mentioned. All five patients are undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre.

18th case

According to a statement about the 18th COVID-19 case by the government’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre in the early hours of yesterday, the 50-year-old local woman travelled with her three children on Cathay Pacific flight CX845 from New York to Hong Kong where she arrived on Saturday afternoon. She and her three children boarded a Macau-bound special bus arranged by the Macau government via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB). At the Macau checkpoint of the bridge Health Bureau (SSM) officials detected that she had a fever, after which she was taken to the special emergency ward of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, where she tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Saturday night, the statement said.

19th case

According to a statement about the 19th COVID-19 case by the centre yesterday morning, the-19-year-old Macau student enrolled in the United States – a son of the 18th patient – visited Mexico from March 8-14. After his mother had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease, he later also tested positive for COVID-19, the statement said.

20th case

The centre announced Macau’s 20th COVID-19 case in a statement last night, which identified the patient as a 20-year-old male Macau resident holding Portuguese nationality who is studying in Warwick. According to the statement, the man departed on March 16 on British Airways flight BA27 from London’s Heathrow Airport to Hong Kong, where he arrived on the following day. From there he took a taxi to the Hong Kong checkpoint of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) and continued his trip to Macau on a “Golden Bus”. Upon arrival he was taken from the Macau checkpoint to the Golden Crown China Hotel for 14-day medical surveillance required for all those arriving from a foreign country. He was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease yesterday, the statement said.

21st case

The centre announced Macau’s 21st COVID-19 case in a statement late last night, according to which the 19-year-old Macau resident enrolled in the United Kingdom departed on March 16 on Thai Airways flight TG911 from London to Bangkok, and flew to Hong Kong on flight TG638 on March 17. She boarded a Macau-bound special bus arranged by the Macau government via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB). Upon arrival she was taken from the Macau checkpoint to the Golden Crown China Hotel for 14-day medical surveillance required for all those arriving from a foreign country. She was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease yesterday, the statement said.

22nd case

The centre announced Macau’s 22nd COVID-19 case in a statement in the early hours of today, according to which the 44-year-old local man departed from Dublin to Hong Kong via Frankfurt on Saturday. Upon arrival at the Macau checkpoint of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) yesterday afternoon, he had a runny nose and therefore was taken to the special emergency ward of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, where he tested positive for the novel coronavirus last night, the statement said.

7th quarantine hotel

Meanwhile, the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) announced yesterday evening that a seventh government-designated hotel for the local government’s quarantine measure – San Tung Fong Commercial Inn, South Wing – opened last night. The inn, located in the city’s main thoroughfare Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, has 89 guestrooms, the statement said. 

In late January, the 298-room Pousada Marina Infante in Taipa became Macau’s first hotel designated for people under medical surveillance in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. In response to a large number of Macau residents – most of them students – returning from overseas, a second designated hotel – the 300-room Golden Crown China Hotel opposite the local airport in Taipa – was opened on March 17. Since then, the local government has been quickly opening more and more quarantine hotels. The third hotel – the 326-room Regency Art Hotel in Taipa – opened on Thursday, while the fourth hotel – the 208-room Grand Coloane Resort near Hac Sa Beach in Coloane – opened on Friday. The fifth hotel – the 112-room Hotel Metropole in Nam Van on the peninsula – opened on Saturday, while the sixth hotel – the 400-room Treasure Hotel adjacent to the Golden Crown China Hotel –opened on Saturday night. The seven designated hotels provide a total of about 1,700 rooms for people under medical surveillance.

While non-Macau residents who go into quarantine at government-designated hotels will have to pay a fee of 5,600 patacas for a fortnight, Macau residents’ stay is free of charge.

7th round of facemask sales starts today

Meanwhile, the government announced yesterday that the seventh round of facemask sales starts today. The facemasks sold at designated pharmacies, health centres and community association outlets are sold at the fixed price of 8 patacas for 10 facemasks per resident and non-resident worker. Once again, facemasks will also be available for kids aged between three and eight. 

According to yesterday’s daily press conference about the COVID-19 threat, the government has so far sold 34 million facemasks. Each round lasts 10 days.

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