Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said Thursday afternoon that there is no reason to ban visitors from Wuhan or other cities in China from entering Macau.
“So far, the situation is not that serious”, said Ho Iat Seng during a press conference.
The Chief Executive also recalled that during SARS in 2003, Macau also kept its borders open.
“At the time of the SARS virus outbreak, we also did not prohibit the entry of people from Hong Kong and we refused to think of establishing a quota for entries from the neighbouring Special Administrative Region for the time being.”
Regarding the entry of visitors from Wuhan, the Government’s position is not to advise travel to Macau.
“In fact, they have to get a visa. Visa issuing authorities can help us limit visa issuance,” said Ho Iat Seng.
The Chief Executive also said that the World Health Organization has not given instructions to close the borders.
There are about 5,000 people from Wuhan in Macau, according to government figures. The Macau authorities advise that they should stay in the territory instead of returning to the Chinese city.
According to Radio Macau, the government does not have exact figures for the residents of Macau who are in Wuhan.
In an unprecedented measure, the authorities of Wuhan isolated the city: since 10 AM, all connections to and from Wuhan — where there are 11 million inhabitants — are prohibited.
There are already 571 confirmed cases of the disease, the majority being from Hubei province. So far, 17 deaths have been caused by the coronavirus.
In Macau, there are currently two registered cases of the coronavirus.