The Macau Health Bureau (SSM) has confirmed this morning that there are three new cases of the coronavirus in Macau.
With these 3 new cases the number of infected people in Macau climb to 5. The SSM said that 11 others are under observation in the hospital.
The new cases have been detected in three women, residents of Wuhan, the city in central China where the pneumonia started.
The patients left the region before authorities in Hubei province quarantined the city, closing all land, air and sea connections.
The SSM said that one of the newly identified patients is a 58-year-old woman who arrived in Macau on Thursday before Wuhan was closed off. She arrived in Macau from Hong Kong by jetfoil and immediately took a taxi to Kiang Wu Hospital for feeling dizzy.
She had a low fever and was eventually transferred to the Conde de São Januário Hospital for further screening. The first test was negative, but during a secondary screening, it was confirmed that she had the virus.
The second new case involves a 39-year-old woman who arrived in Macau on Wednesday, the 22nd, via the Flor de Lotus border that links Macau to Hengqin. She started having a low fever on Saturday and was sent by ambulance to the public hospital, where the infection was confirmed.
The last patient to be diagnosed is a 21-year-old that arrived the city via Zhuhai, through the Lotus Flower Border. Her symptoms included body aches and dizziness. Lab tests have confirmed this morning that she is infected with the coronavirus from Wuhan.
The Macau government has closed all schools and universities, imposed border controls with temperature checks, advised residents not to go to cinemas and other events in closed areas, cancelled all Chinese New Year festivities and advised the public to use masks in buses and other transports.
The government has also set up emergency measures in hospitals and Health centers to cope with the spread of the epidemia.
The Hong Kong government confirmed 5 cases in the city.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Saturday, after holding a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year public holiday, that the country is facing a “grave situation”. The coronavirus has killed at least 56 people and infected almost 2,000 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan.
As of today, in Wuhan, private vehicles will be banned from central districts of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak. A second emergency hospital is to be built there within weeks to handle 1,300 new patients. It is the second such rapid construction project: work on another 1,000-bed hospital has already begun. Specialist military medical teams have also been flown into Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.
The urgency reflects concern both within China and elsewhere about the virus which first appeared in December.