Alvis Lo takes office as SSM director, sets pandemic control as priority

Alvis Lo

Alvis Lo was inaugurated yesterday as the new director of the Health Bureau (SSM). During the ceremony held at the government’s headquarters, Lo noted in his speech that his priority and main duty is to “consolidate the results gained from the prevention and control of the epidemic.”
Lo acknowledged that the positive effects obtained until now were not easy to achieve. He went on to add: “Our team will continue to work, [never slowing down], in the area of prevention and control of the epidemic.”
To achieve his goal, the newly inaugurated director of the SSM designated the vaccination of all residents as the task to be pursued first and foremost. He stated explicitly his desire for the population of Macau to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Lo speculated that the positive results achieved in Macau in pandemic prevention and control may have had the unforeseen negative consequence that the population does not feel the need to be vaccinated.
“We were successful in prevention works during the pandemic, therefore the population thinks that it can leave the vaccination for later,” Lo said. He explained that “From the public health point of view, we must call for the residents of Macau to get vaccinated because we don’t know if there will be any more outbreaks.”
Lo – a medical doctor who specializes in pulmonology – also reminded the public that the vaccination process needs time until it can have a preventative effect. This includes the hiatus in between the two inoculations. “I urge the population to get the vaccine as soon as possible to create a community immunization barrier. It will have positive effects not only for an individual but also for their families and the community in general,” Lo said.
As for the upcoming work from the SSM, Lo said that he aims to increase the number of vaccination points to facilitate a more efficient process.
Lo did not exclude the possibility of launching a new external service for vaccination in collaboration with other entities but said that there is no concrete plan as yet.
“For the time being this is just an idea. There isn’t yet a real plan. The enforcement [of such measures] will depend on the general situation,” he concluded, leaving the discussion open.

Decision on public protest had no political motivations, Lo claims
Lo was questioned by the media on the SSM’s decision to deauthorize the public protest planned for last Sunday at Tap Seac Square against the government’s decision regarding the third round of financial support. He reaffirmed that the SSM’s decision had no political motivations, but was simply based on public health policy.
“The decision was not political; it had no political motivations. It was only due to public health reasons that the SSM did not authorize the activity,” Lo said. He did not deny the possibility of future decisions of the same kind being made.
“Each decision is based on the analysis of the conditions and all the context. I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again,” he said.
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