Addressing Sunday’s daily press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Lo Iek Long, clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said that Monday’s resumption of the public administration’s “basic” services does not mean that residents could gradually resume their normal lifestyle, pointing out that the government has decided to resume its “basic” services as their continued suspension would “seriously” affect some residents – preventing them from receiving the services that they need.
Lo, also a consultant pulmonologist at the public hospital, warned that if residents let their guard down, Macau would possibly have to deal with new COVID-19 cases.
Lo made the remarks on Sunday evening at the Health Bureau (SSM).
Lo stressed that Macau has not confirmed a new COVID-19 case for 12 consecutive days, since February 4.
The government announced on Friday that Macau’s public administration will resume its “basic” services from Monday. The government’s public administration service was reduced to “urgent” services last week.
In a statement on Friday, the Secretariat for Administration and Justice said that the government had decided to resume the public administration’s “basic” services after considering that the public administration service had been suspended for a quite a period of time and that certain kinds of administrative procedures couldn’t be deferred for too long. The statement underlined that the government had made the decision after a “comprehensive” assessment.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the public administration hasn’t worked at full capacity since the Chinese New Year holiday in late January.
The government has repeatedly urged residents to persevere in staying at home and refraining from going out, warning that otherwise a community outbreak could possibly happen.
During Sunday’s press conference, Lo said that he has noticed that some residents have come up with the idea that today’s resumption of “limited” services by the public administration means that the city will gradually return to normal, but this wasn’t the case, he said.
“Everyone must clearly understand that it does not mean that everything has returned to normal,” Lo said, adding that if some services in the public administration are suspended for a long time, it would “seriously” affect some residents as it would prevent them from getting the services they need.
Lo, one of the three clinical directors of the public hospital, said the fact that with no new COVID-19 cases having been confirmed in Macau for 12 consecutive days was exactly due to the government’s effective measures against the viral threat and “every” residents’ cooperation.
“This does not mean that the achievements would [continue] forever,” Lo said.
“If we [residents] let our guard down and return to our previous lifestyle, such as eating together and attending gatherings, there will be new [COVID-19] cases [again],” Lo said.
“Everyone appears to think that the epidemic is over, but that’s absolutely not true,” Lo said, pointing out that Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U reaffirmed on Saturday that residents must continue to be “highly” vigilant against the viral threat.
Lo also announced the discharge of two more COVID-19 patients on Sunday – the fourth and fifth patients to be discharged were the fourth and sixth confirmed cases in Macau respectively.
The two cases were confirmed on January 26 and 27 respectively.
The two patients are a 39-year-old woman from Wuhan and her 15-year-old son who visited Macau with his mother on January 22.
Macau’s first three discharged COVID-19 patients, three woman, aged 52, 21 and 57, from Wuhan, were discharged from hospital on February 6, 12 and 13 respectively.
Including Sunday’s two discharged patients, five COVID-19 patients in Macau have been discharged. Macau has so far confirmed 10 COVID-19 cases, comprising seven tourists from Wuhan and three Macau residents.
Lo said that the treatment bills of the fourth (the mother) and fifth (her son) discharged patients amount to MOP 43,000 and MOP 22,000 respectively, totalling MOP 65,000 for the two patients.
According to Lo, the mother told the authorities that she did not have enough cash or enough available credit on her credit card to pay the two bills and applied to defer paying them. The woman has applied to be exempted from paying the two bills due to her financial condition, Lo said.
Meanwhile, any person who enters government premises from 9 a.m. Monday needs to present a self-filled health e-declaration which is valid for one day. The e-declaration must confirm that the person does not have fever or cough. The e-declaration is available on https://app.ssm.gov.mo/phd/
During Sunday’s press conference, SSM Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that at the time of the press conference, which started at 5 p.m., four million facemasks were sold during the current third round of the government’s mask purchase scheme, which started on Wednesday, 70,000 of which were child facemasks.
The third round of the government’s facemask purchase scheme includes facemasks tailor-made for children for the first time.
The government has said that 5 million and 5.6 million facemasks were sold during the first and second rounds of its purchase scheme respectively. Each resident and non-resident worker can buy 10 facemasks at the fixed price of 8 patacas every 10 days.
A total of 14.6 million facemasks have been sold by the government so far, Leong said.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Government Information Bureau (GCS)