Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre said that more than one million government-arranged facemasks were sold on Wednesday, the first day of the third round of facemaks sold by the government at the fixed price of 8 patacas (US$1) to local residents and non-resident workers.
Macau has a population of about 680,000, including nearly 200,000 non-resident workers, most of them from the Chinese mainland and the Philippines.
Under the government’s purchase scheme, each resident and non-resident worker is entitled to buy 10 facemasks every 10 days from designated pharmacies, public health centres and three community associations. However, facemarks are also available at market prices on the private market.
For the first time on Wednesday, the government also sold facemarks tailor-made for children aged between three and seven. A total of 19,000 child facemasks were sold today, according to the officials. Parents and legal guards can buy five child facemasks for 8 patacas.
Meanwhile, the police are investigating the alleged resale of the government-arranged facemasks for about double the original price, according to the press conference.
Meanwhile, the officials urged Macau’s population to stay at home during the current battle against the novel coronavirus. The officials said they noticed that more and more people were leaving their homes to visit public spaces such as parks and restaurants, some of them even without wearing a facemask.
The officials said that such behaviour was putting the government’s anti-virus measures at risks, pointing out that the fight against COVID-19 has reached a “critical moment.”