A total of 29 people who visited Macau recently were later diagnosed with novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) elsewhere, the Health Bureau (SSM) announced on Monday.
The bureau announced the figure during the daily press conference by the government’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre about the NCP epidemic.
According to Leong Iek Hou from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the 29 patients comprise 22 in Zhuhai, three in Hong Kong, two in South Korea and one each in Taiwan and Malaysia.
The bureau confirmed during the press conference that three of the cases were recently confirmed by doctors in Malaysia and South Korea.
The 31-year-old Malaysian patient, who works in Macau, returned to his country on February 3 and was hospitalised there on Friday, according to Leong, who said that after receiving information on the case this morning the Health Bureau immediately requested its counterpart in Malaysia for more information on the patient as soon as possible, namely where he works in Macau. However, Leong said that at the time of the press conference, which started at 5 p.m., the bureau had not yet received a reply from Malaysia.
The two patients in South Korea comprise a 51-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, Leong said. Both travelled by Air Macau flight NX826 from Macau to Seoul on January 31. Leong said that at the time of the press conference the bureau was still waiting for the passenger list from the airline.
Macau has so far confirmed 10 NCP cases, comprising 7 tourists from Wuhan and three local residents.
One of the Wuhan tourists was discharged from the public hospital last week.
The Health Bureau said on Sunday that some of the remaining 9 patients could possibly be discharged this week, depending on final test results.
Health Bureau officials admitted during Monday’s press conference that they could not rule out the existence of a number of “hidden” NCP cases in Macau. They urged anyone with symptoms such as fever and cough to seek treatment at the public Conde de S. Januario Hospital Centre without delay.