Addressing Sunday’s daily press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) situation, Chang Tam Fei, coordinator of the emergency department of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said he expected some of Macau’s 9 NCP patients to be possibly discharged in several days time.
Chang made the remarks Sunday evening at the Health Bureau (SSM) adjacent to the public hospital.
Macau has so far recorded 10 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, including the first patient – a 52-year-old woman from Wuhan – who was discharged from hospital on Thursday, comprising seven tourists from Wuhan and three Macau residents.
Chang confirmed on Sunday that Macau has not confirmed a new case of novel coronavirus pneumonia since Tuesday.
Chang said that the conditions of the nine patients who are still in isolation at the public hospital are “stable and relatively mild”.
“We [the public hospital] estimate that several of the nine patients can be discharged in the next few days,” Chang said.
When asked by a reporter when exactly the several patients were expected to be discharged, Chang said that the public hospital could only determine the more exact timeline after obtaining the results of the respective patients’ laboratory tests. He was quick to add that the conditions of the several patients are “very sound” so that he believed that they possibly could be discharged one at a time in the next few days – if the results of the laboratory indicators are clear.
According to Chang, until Sunday afternoon a total of 55 people have been put in isolation at the bureau’s isolation facility in Coloane – Public Health Clinical Centre – because of their close contact with Macau’s confirmed NCP patients, since the city’s first case was confirmed last month. Chang said that 17 of the 55 people have meanwhile been released from isolation.
During Sunday’s press conference, SSM Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Director Lam Chong said that until yesterday, 22 people who have been diagnosed with NCP in Zhuhai were confirmed to have previously been in Macau, 19 of them tourists from Hubei province. The other three people comprise a non-resident worker from Hubei province who works for a club at StarWorld Hotel in Nape, a mainlander who lives in Zhuhai and a mainlander who lives in Shenzhen.
According to Lam, until Sunday three people who have been diagnosed with NCP in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan were found to have previously been in Macau.
Despite no new NCP cases having been confirmed in Macau for five consecutive days, Lam urged residents not to let their guard down as the epidemic on the mainland and elsewhere outside Macau shows no any signs of subsiding. He urged the public to maintain good hygiene habits and all the other necessary protective measures.
“The novel coronavirus pneumonia is highly transmissible so that for the time being [the local health authorities] cannot determine whether the epidemic in Macau has eased. The epidemic on the mainland and across the world is still ongoing, and there are no obvious signs that it has started to ease, which shows that it is not easy to bring the epidemic under control,” Lam said.
Lam urged residents who suspect that they have been infected with NCP or who have come down with NPC-like symptoms to seek treatment at the public hospital.
During Sunday’s press conference, Ma Chio Hong, who heads the Operations and Communications Division of the Public Security Police (PSP), said that the police recorded 1.74 million entries and exits at the city’s eight border checkpoints between January 27 and Saturday, a 76 per cent drop compared to the same period last year. Starting from January 27, Hubei residents and non-local residents who have visited Hubei within 14 days before their arrival here must show the local authorities a medical certificate proving that they are not infected with NCP before entering Macau, otherwise they are not allowed to enter the city. The local government has said that no-one within the category has been allowed to enter Macau.
According to Ma, the police recorded 46,000 entries and exits – 22,000 entries and 24,000 exits at the city’s checkpoints on Saturday. Ma said that the 46,000 entries and exits were the lowest “in recent years” – about two decades, particularly tourists and non-resident workers.
Ma said that the 46,000 entries and exits recorded on Saturday represented a 93 per cent decrease from the highest daily record of 662,000 recorded at the city’s border checkpoints.
Lam warned that the local government’s string of measures limiting the flow of people passing through Macau’s border checkpoints cannot fully prevent those who have been infected with NCP and are still in the incubation period from entering Macau, urging local companies to always pay attention to whether any of their employees have come down with symptoms such as a fever and cough.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)