Between 500 and 700 people, including hotel staff, are currently being held in Macau’s Hotel Fortuna due to what is believed to be a positive case of COVID-19. It is not known if the positive case is an employee or a guest.
At around 11am today (Macau time), a large number of police officers in protective clothing arrived at the hotel and sealed it off, preventing people from entering or exiting.
On-site sources have indicated to Inside Asian Gaming that there were between 500 and 700 people in Fortuna at the time and that all of them would now likely be placed into quarantine.
“They might be sent to the Sheraton for quarantine but will most likely be quarantined at Hotel Fortuna,” IAG was told.
A large quantity of goods was also seen being shipped into the hotel which is believed to be food for those set to be quarantined.
The Macau government has not yet announced whether Hotel Fortuna – a satellite casino located on the Macau peninsula and operating under the license of SJM – is currently deemed a yellow code or a red code area.
Fortuna is one of the largest satellite casinos in Macau. Opening prior to the liberalization of the gaming industry in 2002, the nearly 20-floor building is in the heart of the Macau peninsular gaming district, a short walk from Casino Lisboa. The casino was, until recently, headed by Sio Tak Hong, known for his connection to the Macau Jiangmen Communal Association.
Late last year, Mr Sio was arrested and detained for alleged corruption and money laundering connected to the former Director of the Land and Public Works Bureau (DSSOPT), Li Canfeng.
The decision to quarantine such a large number of people raises the question as to whether this will become standard practice in instances where individuals are deemed to be close or even tangential contacts of a confirmed case. If so, Macau could see thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people in hotel quarantine in the coming days and weeks, a devastating prospect for the SAR’s tourist industry and economy as a whole.