Former Macao chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah will stay at a “special place” for 14 days of quarantine after attending today’s funeral of Macao gaming magnate Stanley Ho Hung Sun as one of the pallbearers, officials at the regular press conference of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre have announced.
The funeral took place as the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating, while the situation in Macao has remained stable.
Senior Macao Health Bureau (SSM) official Alvis Lo Iek Long said that due to security reasons, Edmund Ho will spend the 14-day quarantine at a “special place” in Macao. He did not elaborate.
Official sources contacted by the Macau Post Daily this evening said that due to his special security status as a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Edmund Ho will stay at a “special place” during the quarantine period, while Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong and others from Macao who attended today’s funeral in Hong Kong will go into 14-day quarantine at one of the government’s two hotels designated for the purpose — the Sheraton and Pousada Marina Infante in Cotai.
Lei attended the funeral on behalf of the Macao government.
During the press conference, Lo underlined that anyone in quarantine in Macao will undergo two nucleic acid tests (NATs), one at the beginning and the other at the end of the two-week period. Lo insisted that “no one” will be exempted from the mandatory quarantine requirement.
Meanwhile, today’s press conference also announced the launch of the 18th round of facemask sales for residents and non-resident workers tomorrow. According to the government-arranged sales, each resident and non-resident worker is entitled to buy 10 facemasks at the fixed price of MOP 8 (US$1) every 10 days from designated pharmacies as well as health centres and community associations.
Unlike Hong Kong, Macao has been spared a COVID-19 community outbreak. Only one of the 46 novel coronavirus disease patients in Macao is still in hospital. Macao’s first novel coronavirus cases was confirmed on 22 January. A total of 44 of the cases have been classified by the Health Bureau as imported, while it has described the remainder as “cases connected to imported cases”.
Observers have pointed out that close to 100 per cent of people in Macao have been wearing facemasks since late January when out and about. Facemasks are mandatory on public transport – including taxis – and in public administration offices, schools and casinos.
The government has also imposed strict border entry rules. Foreigners without a local residence permit are barred from entering Macao.