The Macau government announced last week that it was extending lockdown measures from the initial one-week period for another five days, from 18 to 23 July, after which it would enter a “consolidation period”.
At a press conference on Monday, officials said they “hoped to enter the consolidation period next week, but it remains unclear when some businesses, including casinos, will be permitted to reopen.”
Leong Iek Hou, who heads the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division of the Health Bureau (SSM), said, “We are now in the zero-COVID period, and the consolidation period will start next week when the number of cases is low.
“Macau will enter into the consolidation phase when it has the means to control and detect positive cases quickly, or when it can maintain a stable outbreak.”
However, she did not respond when asked by IAG whether casinos would reopen during this consolidation period.
On questions around the effective reproduction number (Rt), Leong revealed the current number is 0.55 to 0.6, stating, “The viral multiplication number below 1 indicating that the epidemic is under control,” according to a study conducted by the Macau prevention team on July 14.
There were 10 new positive cases of COVID-19 detected on July 18, of which 7 cases were found in quarantine; one cases in close contacts, one in universal nucleic acid tests and among key populations, and one cases in other populations within the community. The cumulative total since the start of this outbreak on 18 June is 1,765 cases.