Gov’t studying how to bring home Macau residents still in Hubei

The local government said it is studying several options when it comes to bringing home Macau residents currently staying in Hubei Province, where the contagious Covid-19 coronavirus originated. However, any solution offered by the SAR must be in full compliance with Hubei Province’s disease-control measures.
As of yesterday, there were about 100 Macau residents known to be staying in various places across the central Chinese province. The Government Information Bureau (GCS) said in a statement yesterday that the Macau authorities have been in touch with these residents since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, and have ensured that “certain necessities” were sent to Hubei for these Macau residents.
Most of the transportation out of Hubei Province has been suspended since January as part of strict measures introduced on the mainland to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Currently, the Macau government is considering the use of chartered coaches or use of China’s high-speed railway network in order to return the local residents to the Special Administrative Region.
Regarding a suggestion to use a chartered flight to bring them back, the government said it was concerned about the process of safely assembling those people scattered across the province. In addition, an aircraft was an enclosed space and presented a high risk of cross-contamination should anyone aboard be infected.
The government is also studying the possibility of new infections arising from the return of local residents who have stayed in Hubei during the coronavirus outbreak. Once returned to Macau, the government has plans for the quarantine arrangements for these residents.
However, according to the GCS statement, the local authorities are also “undertaking a risk assessment regarding whether the return of those Macau residents might spread the disease within the community, and is preparing an advanced-level response plan for a scenario where new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Macau following such return.” DB

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