Addressing Thursday’s daily press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, announced that parents or legal guardians can now buy 10 facemasks for each child aged between five and eight every 10 days, starting from the 13th round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme which begins today, as Primary 1 to Primary 3 classes in local schools will resume on June 1.
As in previous rounds, parents or legal guardians are entitled to buy only five facemasks for each child aged between three and four in the scheme’s 13th round, which will end on May 31.
Primary 4 to Primary 6 pupils will return to school on Monday.
Under the facemask purchase scheme, which was launched by the government on January 23 (the scheme’s first round), each local resident and non-resident worker is entitled to buy 10 facemasks at the fixed price of eight patacas every 10 days at designated outlets upon presentation of their original Macau ID card or work permit (informally known as “blue card”).
Each round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme lasts 10 days.
The sale of child facemasks – for those aged between three and eight – was first available on February 12 when the scheme’s third round started. Since then, parents or legal guardians have been entitled to buy five child facemasks with the child’s ID card, with the remaining five being adult facemasks, or alternatively they can choose to use the whole quota of 10 for adult facemasks.
During Thursday’s press conference, Lo said that as Primary 1 to Primary 3 classes (junior primary school) will resume on June 1, pupils covered in this educational stage – namely those aged between five and eight – will have to wear their facemasks when they return to school, and they will possibly need to change their facemasks every day, the government has decided to change the arrangement for the sale of children’s facemasks in the 13th round of its facemask purchase scheme.
According to Lo, parents or legal guardians are now entitled to buy 10 facemasks for each child aged between five and eight in the 13th round, or alternatively they can choose to buy five child facemasks and five adult facemasks, or choose to use the whole quota of 10 for adult facemasks.
Lo said that the government has decided that the arrangement for children aged between three and four in the 13th round of its facemask purchase scheme remains the same as previously, because they are expected to continue staying at home as the government has still not announced the class resumption schedule for kindergarten pupils – or whether they will return to their classes during the current school year. Consequently, parents or legal guardians remain entitled to buy five facemasks for each child aged between three and four plus five adult facemasks in the 13th round, or alternatively they can choose to use the whole quota of 10 for adult facemasks.
Unchanged from previously, there are 84 outlets for the 13th round which starts today, comprising 56 designated pharmacies, eight health centres in Macau and Taipa and two health stations in Coloane run by the Health Bureau (SSM), as well as 18 so-called service points run by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (Gung Luen), Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations (Kai Fong) and Macau Women’s General Association (Fu Luen).
Child facemasks are only sold at the bureau’s health centres and health stations. The price of child facemasks is the same as for adult facemasks.
No new COVID-19 cases for 43 days
Meanwhile, Lo also pointed out that Macau has not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 43 consecutive days. All of Macau’s 45 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital.
Lo said that six discharged patients are still undergoing their 14 days of recovery period isolation at the Health Bureau’s Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane.