The Macau SAR government has decided to send charter flights to evacuate Macau residents who are staying in Hubei province. The first charter is set to be sent on 7 February and will bring 50 people back to Macau.
Around 150 residents are said to be stranded in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province since a blockade implemented on 23 February to stop the spread of COVID-19.
According to the Director of Macau’s Health Bureau, Lei Chin Ion, the government will send a Macau Airlines charter to Wuhan on Saturday, emphasizing that this is a high-risk operation as people are likely to be infected by the virus during transportation.
“The infection rate in Wuhan is between 1% and 10%, so the worst situation is about 14 people among them would be infected after they return to Macau,” Lei noted. “This is a risk that our entire society has to bear.”
Lei emphasized that qualified residents have to confirm their health status before boarding the charter, and the government will ensure and apply strict protective measures for officials on the flight to Wuhan. All officials and residents will be required to wear protective clothing, while the residents will be sent to Ka Ho upon their return for a 14-day medical quarantine.
Macau has not recorded a new case in the last 26 days with the number of confirmed cases still at 10, of which eight have now recovered.