From today, Macao residents arriving from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines and transferring to the city via special ferry need certification saying they have tested negative from COVID-19.
The certificate proving they are not infected by COVID-19 must be issued by a qualified medical institution in the country of origin. Officials point out that this measure was needed to protect the health of the ferry crew members and other passengers.
Only after obtaining this will Macao residents wishing to return be allowed to register for the special ferry from the Hong Kong International Airport to Macao. The special ferry link had been set up to enable Macao residents to return home via Hong Kong airport without having to undergo Hong Kong’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Speaking today during the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre press conference, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that the list of six countries is “provisional” as these countries have been particularly hard hit by the disease. This list will be adjusted at any time, in line with the development of the pandemic worldwide.
The list thus includes the Philippines, from which the 46th COVID-19 case — a 57-year-old Filipino Macao resident who suffers from diabetes — returned from. He tested positive on Thursday and is the first case after 78 consecutive days without any occurrences.
The patient, who is an engineer, is hospitalised at the isolation ward of Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre for treatment and his condition is stable. He is currently the only COVID-19 patient in Macao. All the others have been discharged from hospital, with no community outbreak of the disease, thus far, reported in the city.
“His condition is good, but the examination of both lungs showed signs of pneumonia” said Leong. She also said that the authorities already anticipated the occurrence of new cases, considering that 1,300 residents registered to return to Macao.
Since the special ferry between the Hong Kong International Airport and Macao began 10 days ago, 660 Macao residents have returned.
Inês Chan Lou, who heads the Licensing and Inspection Department of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), said that of the 660 who have returned through the special corridor, 101 came from the United States and 50 from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines.
Zhuhai border crossing
Meanwhile, during the press conference Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde S. Januário Hospital Centre, announced that from Saturday onward, the daily quota of Macao residents who will be allowed to cross the border into Zhuhai without complying with quarantine measures will increases from 1,000 to 3,000 daily.
Since June 16, Macao residents have been able to apply for a quarantine waiver for specific reasons such as official and commercial cases.
Zhuhai has been without new COVID-19 cases for at least two months, according to Macao authorities.