Macau’s Novel Coronavirus Infection Response Coordination Center confirmed late Sunday that 31 people had tested positive to COVID-19, representing the SAR’s first major outbreak since the start of the pandemic almost two-and-a-half years ago.
Among the confirmed cases are 21 females and 10 males ranging in age from eight months to 89 years. Eight of the 31 are symptomatic cases with 23 asymptomatic at this stage. In their epidemiological investigations, authorities have followed up a total of 602 people, including what they describe as “146 close contacts, 375 non-core close contacts (people with ‘common trails’), 36 secondary close contacts, 10 general contacts and four accompanying persons.”
The detection of the 31 cases comes after the Health Bureau initially announced 12 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Macau community, with Kiang Wu Hospital reporting at 6pm on Saturday evening (18 June) the detection of a positive test result in a “10 mixed into one” nucleic acid test. One of the patients was later confirmed to be positive.
The government immediately checked the place of residence and work of the confirmed patient, and found that “at least 10” people were confirmed positive in the building where the patient lives.
This led to the declaration of an “immediate state of prevention” with all government events to be suspended or cancelled and all sports facilities to be shut down. The government also announced the closure of most of its offices today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday).
At a press conference on Sunday morning outlining some restrictions, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ao Ieong U, said, “In addition to supermarkets and so on, I hope that some venues will close down, and casinos can also take the same measures, but for the time being, there will not be any instructions, and I hope that enterprises will voluntarily comply and reduce the movement of people in the community.
“I hope people will stay at home, and I hope restaurants will suspend the supply of dining-in food.”
All departures from Macau are now required to present a negative NAT report from a test conducted within the past 24 hours.
The Macau government also announced that all Macau residents will be required to undergo a NAT test between 12 noon on Sunday 19 June and 12 noon on Tuesday 21 June.
The number of confirmed cases was updated to 21 on Sunday afternoon and then 31 on Sunday evening, with more likely to follow.