The government said in a statement last night that it has installed temperature measuring equipment at all local border checkpoints and also reinforced its sanitary inspection measures at the local airport, in particular for flights arriving from Wuhan, which has been hit by an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown aetiology.
The equipment is capable of quickly measuring the body temperature of all arrivals, without requiring them to stop for a check-up, according to the statement released by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS).
Meanwhile, the government said in a separate statement last night that it has “sufficient” legal powers to take “any steps necessary” to prevent an outbreak of infectious diseases in the community.
The statement pointed out that there is “no need for either new or urgent legislation” in response to the pneumonia cases of unknown origin that have occurred in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province.
The statement also pointed out that Law No. 2/2004 on the Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, and Decree-Law No. 81/99/M both vest power in the Health Bureau (SSM) to take “necessary measures to prevent or eliminate factors or situations which might endanger or cause harm to the health of individuals or the community”.
Such measures include compulsory isolation and medical observation for people suspected of carrying an infectious disease, the statement noted.
The statement also underlined that the local government is paying close attention to the latest developments concerning the Wuhan pneumonia cases and has taken a string of measures to minimise the risk of such cases affecting Macau.
As of Tuesday, there was no report of any case of illness in Macau being linked to the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak, the statement said.
The local government has been keeping in close contact with the National Health Commission (NHC) regarding the latest developments concerning the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak, the statement underlined.
According to the statement, the local government has taken multiple steps to optimise local preparedness regarding its response to the viral outbreak, which include the following: a “uniform” level of training – in relation to the control of an infectious disease and procedures of handling suspicious cases – for medical professionals; and ensuring there is sufficient reserve supply of medication, medical consumables, and equipment, as well as adequate facilities to accommodate related work.
According to the statement, since January 1, all passengers travelling from Wuhan to Macau have been required to undergo temperature screening upon arrival. Wuhan, a city of 11 million people lies some 940 kilometres north of Macau.
With effect since last Saturday, vehicle drivers and any of their passengers arriving in Macau via either the Border Gate Checkpoint, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the Zhuhai-Macau Crossborder Industrial Zone Checkpoint and the Lotus Bridge Checkpoint have been required to undergo body-temperature screening, the statement underlined.
The government has implemented a Level III alert in response to the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak. The alert level means that the risk of public emergency is moderate, indicating public health factors – of either environmental or technological origin – requiring firm follow-up action by the local authorities, the statement said.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the statement insisted that members of the public have no cause for alarm regarding the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak