The Chief Executive (CE), Ho Iat Seng has urged people in Macau to stay calm during this period of “immediate prevention status” reassuring that there is no reason for panic.
In a special press conference held early this Wednesday afternoon at the government’s headquarters, the CE assured that the pandemic situation in Macau is under control and that from the 1,900 Nucleic Acid Tests (NAT) performed to all people of close contact with the four residents infected with Covid-19, over 1,500 already have results, turning out to be negative.
Ho also informed that the current immediate prevention status is expected to remain in force for a period of 14-days, after which he believes the situation in Macau can return to normalcy.
For the time being, the CE rejected the idea that further measures can be taken, including the closing of casinos and other services. He justified that such venues are the ones where scrutiny over the health condition of people is highly enforced, adding that residents infected with the virus are not related to any casino activities.
At the same press conference, the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong, called on citizens to not rush to the NAT sample collection points and to not gather in long queues at these venues if they do not have a scheduled NAT.
Ao Ieong reaffirmed that walk-in people will not be able to undergo the test, calling on those that have difficulties using the online application to seek help from the Social Welfare Bureau staff that will assist.
She called on people to be calm and not to rush to do the NAT part of the citywide mass testing on the first day unless one needs to cross the border into the mainland or exit the region via the airport.
She ensured that will be plenty of time for everyone to be tested, remarking that gathering in long lines under the sun or rain is both “counterproductive and unnecessary.”
The CE also took the opportunity to apologize for the problems that occurred over the morning with the software responsible for generating the local health code, justifying such failure in the operations with a last-minute measured enforced by the Zhuhai authorities that further reduced the validity of NAT from 24 hours to just 12 hours. These were the “necessary changes to adjust the local health code and link it to the Guangdong province one that caused that the application has been out of order for a few hours”.