Addressing Friday’s press conference about Macao’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, said that 76 million facemasks have been sold under the government’s facemask purchase scheme since its launch in late January.
Lo also announced that the 14th round of the facemask purchase scheme will start today.
The facemasks sold under the scheme are colloquially known as “government facemasks”.
Under the facemask purchase scheme, which was launched by the government on January 23 (the scheme’s first round), 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 Macao ID card or work permit (informally known as “blue card”). In each round, which lasts 10 days, parents or legal guardians are entitled to buy 10 facemasks for each child aged between five and eight, and five facemasks for each kid aged between three and four.
Facemasks for kids
The sale of child facemasks – for those aged between three and eight – was first available on February 12 when the scheme’s third round started. Since then, in each round parents or legal guardians had been entitled to buy five child facemasks with the child’s ID card, with the remaining five for adult facemasks, or alternatively they could choose to use the whole quota of 10 for adult facemasks until May 22 when the scheme’s 13th round started and the government changed the arrangement for the sale of children’s facemasks because of today’s resumption of Primary 1 to Primary 3 classes.
Other segments of pupils have gradually returned to their classrooms in the past few weeks. Pupils and teachers are obligated to wear facemasks on school premises.
Since the scheme’s 13th round, parents or legal guardians have been entitled to buy 10 facemasks for each child aged between five and eight, or alternatively they can choose to buy five child facemasks and five adult facemasks, or choose to use the whole quota of 10 for adult facemasks. Parents or legal guardians continue to be entitled to buy five facemasks for each child aged between three and four plus five adult facemasks, or alternatively they can choose to use the whole quota of 10 for adult facemasks.
In the scheme’s 14th round which starts today, the arrangement for the sale of children’s facemasks remains the same as in the 13th round.
Unchanged from previously, there are 84 outlets for the 14th round which starts this morning, comprising 56 designated pharmacies, eight health centres in Macao and Taipa and two health stations in Coloane run by the Health Bureau (SSM), as well as 18 so-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).
Child facemasks are only sold at the bureau’s health centres and health stations. The price of child facemasks is the same as for adult facemasks.
Observers have noted that close to 100 percent of people in Macao wear facemasks when out and about. Apart from the “government facemasks”, facemasks are also available at commercial prices in the private market.
No new COVID-19 case for 53 days
As of Sunday, Macao had not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 53 consecutive days. All of Macao’s 45 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.