Addressing Monday’s daily press conference about the local government’s ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, Chan Iok Wai, who heads the Higher Education Institutions Students Department of the Higher Education Bureau (DSES), said that up to 4 p.m. Monday about 1,200 local residents enrolled in higher education institutions outside Macau had registered for the new measure that allows them to buy their facemasks via the local government’s facemask purchase scheme.
Chan made the remarks late Monday afternoon at the Health Bureau (SSM) adjacent to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre.
The Higher Education Bureau announced in a statement on Sunday that it had launched a new measure – in collaboration with the Health Bureau – allowing local residents who are studying in higher education institutions outside Macau to buy their facemasks under the local government’s facemask purchase scheme, Under the measure, local residents who are studying in tertiary education institutions outside Macau can register on the website of the Higher Education Bureau – until Thursday afternoon – so that a representative – such as their parents – can buy facemasks for them upon presentation of his or her ID card and then post the facemasks to the students.
According to Sunday’s statement, under the new measure for local residents who are studying in higher education institutions outside Macau, a representative can buy facemasks for the student at the Meng Tak Building on the Macau Polytechnic Institute (IPM) campus in Zape, where the representative can instantly post the purchased facemasks to the student at a Post and Telecommunications Bureau (CTT) counter.
Under the government’s ongoing facemask purchase scheme, which was launched by the government on January 23, each local resident and non-resident worker is entitled to buy 10 facemasks at the fixed price of eight patacas every 10 days at designated outlets upon presentation of their original Macau ID card or work permit (informally known as “blue card”).
There are 84 outlets for the current fifth round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme, comprising 56 designated pharmacies, eight health centres in Macau and Taipa and two health stations in Coloane run by the Health Bureau, as well as 18 co-called service points run by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (Gung Luen), Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations (Kai Fong) and Macau Women’s General Association (Fu Luen).
Sunday’s statement said that the new measure aims to enable “Macau university students who are studying elsewhere” to buy facemasks via the local government’s facemask purchase scheme.
According to Sunday’s statement, local residents studying in higher education institutions outside Macau can register on https://aeees.dses.gov.mo/mk/ by 5 p.m. on Thursday.
In the registration, the students have to fill in their personal information, contact number and email address, as well as the particulars of their representative, according to Sunday’s statement. The students have to upload a copy of the official document proving that they are enrolled (student card, or academic performance report card, or any other documents issued by their education institution). The student has to select a time slot for their representative to buy the facemasks, before completing the registration process, the statement said.
Afterwards, the Higher Education Bureau will send a confirmation SMS to the student. The designated representative has to present his or her own ID card and the screenshot of the student’s confirmation SMS, when they are buying the facemasks at the IPM Meng Tak Building, according to Sunday’s statement, which said that the facemask purchase point will run until 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Sunday’s statement said that the Post and Telecommunications Bureau has set up a counter at this facemask purchase point, where the representative can instantly send the purchased facemasks to the student.
According to the dedicated website for the new measure (https://aeees.dses.gov.mo/mk/), exchange students and interns who are Macau residents and enrolled in higher education institutions elsewhere are also entitled to use the new measure, which also covers Macau residents enrolled in preparatory foundation courses in tertiary education institutions outside the special administrative region.
During Monday’s press conference – which started at 5 p.m., Chan said that some 1,200 students who have signed up for the new measure are studying in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as a number of foreign countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States some of them as exchange students and interns.
Chan said that the purchasing of facemasks at the IPM Meng Tak Building has been proceeding smoothly, adding that it takes each representative two minutes on average to purchase the masks. The selling point opened on Sunday.
According to local media reports, parents who have bought facemasks for their children enrolled in higher education institutions elsewhere at the purchase point have praised the local government’s new measure.
6th round of facemasks sales start on Friday
Meanwhile, SSM Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou affirmed during Monday’s press conference that the government will launch the sixth round of its facemask purchase scheme on Friday. Leong said that the government will announce the details of the sixth round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme on Thursday – the last day of the current fifth round of the scheme.
Macau has not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 34 consecutive days. Macau’s last two COVID-19 cases, the 9th and 10th cases, were confirmed on February 4. All of the 10 COVID-19 patients – seven tourists from Wuhan and three locals – have been discharged from hospital.
Leong said that the epidemic situation in Macau has eased thanks to residents’ perseverance in keeping up all the necessary protective measures. Leong said that as the novel coronavirus is now spreading across the world, the local government still cannot relax its epidemic prevention and control measures for the time being. Leong urged residents to continue keeping up the COVID-19 protection measures such as avoiding gatherings, wearing a facemask when out and about, and washing one’s hands frequently.
Leong also said that the government could not say that Macau is already facing “zero risk” concerning the novel coronavirus disease.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Government Information Bureau (GCS)