Macau Health Director Alvis Lo Iek Long has confirmed that Macau will continue to follow mainland China’s lead by maintaining its strict zero-COVID policy.
Speaking with TDM Radio this week, Lo said this policy was the most appropriate to prevent a major outbreak in the SAR, insisting Macau will “maintain an identical policy with mainland China.”
“After the pandemic outbreak in Hong Kong, the disease spread very quickly and this can lead to a situation where we cannot control the disease,” he warned.
His comments come just days after China’s President, Xi Jinping, doubled down on his hardline zero-COVID strategy, quashing suggestions the mainland may consider easing its policy following the impact of ongoing lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing.
Xi told a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) last week that the nation must strengthen its efforts in combatting the virus, insisting all officials “Align their thinking and actions and maintain a high degree of ideological, political and action unity with the Party Central Committee.
“Our prevention and control policy is determined by the nature and purpose of the Party.”
Xi told the PBSC meeting that “persistence is victory”, describing China’s COVID-19 fight as being at a “critical and strenuous stage” and insisting the country must “go against the current, not retreat”.
“We have won the battle to defend Wuhan, and we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai,” Xi claimed.
According to Redmond Wong, strategist at Saxo Markets, “Relaxation of [China’s] dynamic zero-COVID policy is now completely off the table.”
However, the Director-General of the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Tuesday that a zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy is not sustainable given what is now known of the Omicron variant. “We don’t think that it is sustainable considering the behaviour of the virus,” he told a media briefing.