Macau-Zhuhai cross-border commuters will undergo nucleic acid testing (NAT) for COVID-19 in Macau from today, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced on Wednesday at its daily press conference about the novel coronavirus disease.
The tests were previously done in Zhuhai, which has closed its NAT post for cross-border commuters.
The tests will be carried out at the Pac On Ferry Terminal daily between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
According to the press conference, the tests target teachers and pupils commuting between Macau and Zhuhai in particular, as well as Macau residents with residency permits in Zhuhai.
The new arrangement was announced by Tai Wa Hou, a Macau Health Bureau (SSM) official in charge of medical tests at the city’s border checkpoints. Tai said that the measure was expected to involve 15,000 cross-border commuters. According to Tai, the test results will be available within 24 hours.
The tests have a validity of seven days. The first test is free of charge, but follow-up tests will cost 180 patacas (US$22) each. However, teachers and pupils are exempt from the fee.
Officials at the press conference said that possibly the tests would “very soon” also include non-resident workers commuting between Macau and Zhuhai. Tens of thousands of non-resident workers live in Zhuhai but work in Macau.
Meanwhile, the officials also announced on Wednesday that one more COVID-19 patient, a 41-year-old non-resident worker from Indonesia, was discharged on Wednesday, lowering the number of novel coronavirus disease patients still undergoing treatment at the Public Health Clinic in Coloane to just five among Macau’s total number of 45 COVID-19 cases. Unlike Hong Kong, there have been no COVID-19 deaths and community outbreaks in Macau. All cases have been classified by the Health Bureau as imported or as “cases connected to imported cases.”
Macau’s first novel coronavirus case was confirmed on January 22. Macau has not confirmed a new COVID-19 for 28 days, the officials pointed out on Wednesday.