The Macau government announced on Saturday that there have been no new cases of the COVID-19 virus in the territory for 11 days.
During a press conference on the situation of the epidemic in Macau, health officials indicated that there are no new cases since the 4th of February and that amongst the seven patients still in hospital, some will be discharged soon.
Macau recorded 10 cases of the virus, seven from tourists from Hubei province and three from Macau. Three tourists from Mainland China have been already discharged.
The information comes at a time when the city of Macau is registering more and more people on the street despite government calls for the population to remain in their homes.
The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ao Ieong U, meanwhile, appealed again on Saturday for residents to stay in their homes, and only go out when necessary and to avoid crowds of people where possible and wear masks all the time.
Macau’s public services will reopen Monday only for urgent matters after having been closed since the beginning of February.
“The opening of public services does not mean that the critical phase of the epidemic has passed. It did not pass and we need to continue to take all measures to stop to spread of the virus in the local community,” said the secretary.
From the 17th of February, access to public services will only be possible after the presentation of a health certificate, to be obtained electronically on government websites.
The secretary also said that the measures that will take effect from Monday aim to reduce the risk of spreading the epidemic.
The government asked that, whenever possible, basic requests should be made by telephone or the internet so that there are no gatherings of people in public departments.
Meanwhile the secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Tong said during the press conference that the government is prepared to take more stringent measures at the borders, if the risk of spreading the epidemic in Macau increases.
“The health of the population is the most important. We are looking at strict measures if the risk increases,” he said.
Despite the measures taken by the Macau government on the borders with the municipality of Zhuhai, which led to a 90 per cent reduction in entries into the territory, there is still a daily movement of 26,000 entries and 27,000 exits from Macau.
Out of which, about 11,000 are Macau residents, with the vast majority living in Zhuhai, crossing the border daily and more than 12,000 non-resident workers also living in the neighbouring Chinese municipality.
“This situation must be taken into account in any future decision on possible border restrictions,” admitted Lei.
Guangdong Province, where the Special Administrative Region of Macau is located, has already registered 1,294 cases of the virus with 2 deaths.
Zhuhai, a Chinese municipality neighbouring Macau, has so far recorded 95 CODIV-19 cases with no deaths and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 56 cases with one death.