The local nurse and non-resident worker who earlier in the day had been classified as suspected case have tested negative for the novel coronavirus, the government and Health Bureau (SSM) announced Thursday afternoon.
SSM Director Lei Chin Ion said that tests later in the day confirmed they were not infected with the novel coronavirus.
According to the press conference, the 51-year-old nurse from the private Kiang Wu Hospital had been in contact with a confirmed case last week. She came down with fever, sore throat, runny nose and cough Thursday morning — she has been diagnosed with the flu.
Consequently, the number of confirmed Wuhan virus cases in Macau remains at seven — which were announced Tuesday — all of them tourists from Wuhan. The SSM confirmed 110 suspected cases, with 19 in isolation. Health Bureau officials have described their conditions as “mild”.
On Thursday afternoon, Lei has again appealed to the population to remain at home in “self-isolation”.
“The development of the epidemic is uncertain. We don’t know when the most serious period will be. The epidemic is always changing and with the increase in the number of cases in Interior China, all measures must be taken,” Lei said.
He also confirmed that from 2 February onwards, a new batch of masks will go on sale in pharmacies throughout Macau.
Officials from the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) also appealed to the more than 19,000 students who reside in Zhuhai — which borders Macau and has already registered several coronavirus cases — studying in Macau to stay at home and not come to Macau.
“Stay at home. Don’t come to Macau,” said one of the officials from the DSEJ during the press conference.
Resumption of classes in Macau will be announced in due course, the DSEJ has said, and may extend beyond the 10th of February which was previously indicated as the start of classes.
Guandong province, where Macau is located, registered 311 cases so far, with no fatalities.
On Wednesday, 131 patients became seriously ill, while 21 people were discharged from hospital after recovery.
A total of 88,693 close contacts had been traced, the National Health Commission said, with 2,364 of that same number discharged from medical observation on Wednesday. 81,947 still remain under medical observation.
By the end of Wednesday, 10 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong, seven in Macau and eight in Taiwan.
On a national level
Chinese health authorities announced Thursday that 7,711 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported by the end of Wednesday in 31 provincial-level regions and by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. A total of 170 people have died from the disease.
Wednesday saw 1,737 new confirmed cases, including the first confirmed case in Tibet Autonomous Region. There were 4,148 new suspected cases and 38 deaths — 37 in Hubei Province and one in Sichuan Province.
The National Health Commission said in its daily report that 1,370 patients remained in critical conditions, and 12,167 people were suspected of being infected with the virus as of the end of Wednesday. A total of 124 people had been discharged from hospitals after recovery.