Two Macau residents are among the passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship which are currently quarantined off the port of Yokohama in Japan after at least 10 people on board have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Macau government said at its daily press conference about the virus threat on Wednesday.
Lam Chong, who heads the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of the Health Bureau (SSM), made the remarks on Wednesday evening at the bureau next to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre.
According to Lam, Japan’s health authorities have informed his bureau that two passengers on board are holders of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) passports – a man in his eighties and a woman in her seventies.
According to RTHK, Japan quarantined the vessel carrying 3,711 people and began testing those on board for the virus after a former passenger, an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who had disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25, was diagnosed with the illness on Saturday. Some 1,000 of the 3,711 people on board are crew members.
Three Hong Kong people are among the 10 people on the vessel who have been found to have the illness, RTHK reported on Wednesday.
The 10 who tested positive were removed from the vessel and taken to medical facilities.
According to RTHK, the rest of the passengers and crew on board the ship will be required to stay on the vessel for 14 days, Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato has told the media.
The ship arrived in Yokohama on Monday evening.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Lam said that his bureau had requested Japan’s health authorities to provide the two senior citizens from Macau on board the vessel with the contact information of Macau’s Tourism Crisis Management Office (GGCT).
Lam also said that his bureau and a number of other government entities, such as the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) and the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), will jointly strengthen promotion campaigns from today to raise residents’ awareness of fighting against the epidemic.
Under the new measure, various government entities will make good use of their respective promotion facilities, such as electronic screens installed across the city, to disseminate information on preventive measures against the virus, according to Lam, who said that vehicles fitted with loudhailers will drive across the city from today to spread the anti-virus message such as by urging residents to stay at home.
In a statement last night, the government said that the existing promotion facilities include electronic screens installed at border checkpoints, areas on government premises open to the public, and various other public facilities. The existing facilities installed across the city and the megaphone-fitted vehicles will operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from today, the statement said.
During Wednesday’s press conference, the public hospital’s clinical director, Lei Wai Seng, said that the government was encouraging domestic helpers’ employers to arrange for their live-out maids to become live-in maids, so that the domestic helpers won’t need to commute between the home of their employer and the place where they live now.
Unlike in Hong Kong, most domestic helpers in Macau are live-out maids.
Meanwhile, the government announced in several statements on Wednesday that a number of local citizens and enterprises have donated a quantity of facemasks, herbal medicine and other products to assist in the fight against the novel coronavirus in Macau. For instance, businessmen Zhan Zongzhen and Si Chong Su each donated 100,000 facemasks.