Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center announced Thursday that it would shorten the validation period of mandatory COVID-19 virus test results for those entering from Zhuhai from 48 hours to 24 hours, starting from midnight on the morning of Friday 18 March.
The decision comes after Zhuhai recorded two new positive COVID-19 cases, in the Tangjiawan Town and Nanpin districts, in the past two days. The Zhuhai government has responded by ordering mass tests for all people in several districts.
Under Macau’s revised border policy, individuals entering Macau via Zhuhai must hold a negative virus test certificate obtained within 24 hours. Those entering Macau via flights from other parts of mainland China are not affected and can show a negative virus test certificate obtained within the previous seven days. Those who leave Macau for Zhuhai city are still required to submit a negative certificate from within seven days.
The SAR government emphasized that it will maintain close communication with Zhuhai City, continue to observe and evaluate the epidemic situation and resume normal measures as soon as possible.
It also revealed a contingency plan in response to any possible outbreak of a mass-scale in future. If over 100 people are infected, community treatment facilities would be transformed into temporary quarantine facilities and would be located at the Macau East Asian Games Dome and the Athletes Training Center in Cotai. Community treatment facilities would be set up within 10 days and provide a maximum of 1,400 beds.
If the infection numbers reach over 1,500, the government will designate certain quarantine hotels to receive those who are infected. The planned quota for each quarantine hotel is around 1,000. The government also plans to build an outdoor “mobile cabin hospital” to provide another 1,000 beds for patients.
The government said it has now approved COVID-19 self-test kids for urgent usage but these will not replace the authority of nucleic acid virus tests.
The latest vaccination rate of COVID-19 is 82.2% in Macau, but the rate for those aged 80 or above is still low at just 33.7%. Only 38.3% of children aged between 3 and 11 have been vaccinated.