The Macau government announcedTuesday night the city’s 13th novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case, the second case confirmed today and the third since Sunday .
According to a statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS), the latest COVID-19 patient is a 20-year-old female Macau resident studying in the United Kingdom. She recently departed from London en route to Hong Kong via Kuala Lumpur. She arrived in Hong Kong Monday night.
She arrived in Macau by bus via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, according to the statement, which did not mention when she arrived at the Macau checkpoint.
Upon arrival, Macau Health Bureau (SSM) detected that she was having a fever, after which she was transferred to the special emergency ward of the public Conde de S. Januario Hospital Centre, where she tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The statement described her condition as “normal”. She is undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of the public hospital.
According to the statement, the Health Bureau is looking into the patient’s travel history and contacts.
Tuesday morning, a Spanish national who had arrived in Macau from Spain via Moscow and Beijing tested positive for the highly infectious disease.
On Sunday, an Air Macau flight attendant was diagnosed with the disease after arriving in Macau with her fiancé from an extended holiday in Portugal, which as of last night (Tuesday) reported 448 cases including one fatality.
Macau’s previous 10 COVID-19 patients – seven tourists from Wuhan and three locals – have meanwhile been discharged from the public hospital.
Macau bans foreign visitors
The Macau government announced Tuesday a blanket ban on all foreign visitors from 0:00 Wednesday the 18th.
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s executive order on the ban was published in the Official Gazette (BO).
According to the order, only individuals from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as non-resident workers (informally known as “blue-card holders”) employed in Macau, will be allowed to enter Macau.
Based on the One China policy, mainland Chinese, Hongkongers and Taiwanese are considered nationals in Macau.
The order states that the measure aims to protect Macau people’s health, pointing out that the novel coronavirus continues spreading “all over the world.”
The order is based on Article 25 of the Law on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
The order also states that in the public interest, namely for the prevention, control and treatment of diseases as well as concerning aid and emergency measures, Macau’s health authorities can in exceptional cases lift the entry ban on foreign nationals.
The measure was announced after the Health Bureau (SSM) confirmed Macau’s 12th novel coronavirus case.
On Monday the government had already imposed a 14-day quarantine requirement on all arrivals from foreign countries including local residents.
Observers have noted that well over 90 per cent of pedestrians in Macau are wearing facemasks, which are mandatory to enter public administration premises and taking public transport.