Macao beefs up prevention measures after reporting 1st novel coronavirus case

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-22 21:59:49|Editor: huaxia

MACAO, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government has taken a wide range of measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Macao, after reporting the first case of the pandemic earlier on Wednesday.

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center of Macao SAR government held a meeting on Wednesday to review the latest development of the viral pneumonia, and measures taken in Macao to prevent local spread of the illness.

The SAR government's Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U, who is also the center's vice chairperson, gave more details about the prevention measures, such as temperature screening at all boundary checkpoints and health declaration of inbound travelers upon arrival in Macao.

Temperature checks have also been imposed at the entrances of all government buildings, she added.

In accordance with the Law on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, an executive order would be issued later to ask all employees at casinos to wear a face mask to protect the health of casino workers and visitors, said the director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau Paulo Martins Chan.

Chan added that the fever-detection equipment has been installed at casino resorts.

Other measures include suspension of tour visits between Macao and Wuhan, daily cleaning and disinfection of bus stations, taxi stations and street markets.

The SAR's Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng on Wednesday met with Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert and head of a high-level expert team of China's National Health Commission.

Ho said the SAR government has paid high attention to the situation of the novel coronavirus epidemic and he hoped to listen to experts for suggestions of preventive measures in future.

Zhong said Macao is a densely populated region with many casinos and hotels. During the upcoming festival, many tourists will travel between Macao and Guangdong Province. He suggested Macao to work closely with Guangdong to prevent super-spreaders, or highly contagious virus carriers.