Investigations ongoing into new case’s shopping routine near Border Gate

Although no reasons for repeated shopping by the latest coronavirus case near Border Gate were announced, investigations are being conducted, police division head Lei Tak Fai told yesterday’s health press briefing.

A new SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in Zhuhai yesterday, in a 26-year-old male non-local worker from mainland China. He worked at the bakery in the Grand Mart supermarket in Taipa.

Prior to returning to Zhuhai on August 5 and 6, the man shopped several times at a shop in City Plaza, a shopping center near the Border Gate.

Lei was asked whether the man was conducting parallel trading, and the Public Security Police Force (PSP) officer admitted in response that the man had “purchased something” at the shopping center and brought the items to Zhuhai.

“However, we are not clear [on] the specific purchases he has made at the shop,” Lei said, adding that “further assessments are needed to determine if the shopping was related to other activities.”

Public health doctor Leong Iek Hou, division head at the Health Bureau (SSM), announced yesterday the new case’s travel history in Macau.

Prior to August 4, he stayed at an apartment in phase 1, Polytec Garden. On and after this day, he moved back to Zhuhai. He worked as a baker at the bakery in the Grand Mart supermarket in Taipa. 

On the morning of August 4, he departed his temporary residence in Polytec Garden and took the MT3 bus route to work, alighting at the Macao Stadium bus stop and walking to his workplace.

On the same evening, he took the 30X bus route from the Nam San Garden bus stop to the Qingmao Border Checkpoint, before leaving Macau for Zhuhai.

The next day, he entered Macau at the Border Gate before taking bus route 30X to near Macao Stadium. After work, at about 5 p.m., he left work and took the same bus route to City Plaza. He then purchased some cosmetics at a shop inside, before leaving Macau at the Border Gate.

At 6:30 p.m. the same day, he returned to Macau through the Qingmao Border Checkpoint and again purchased some cosmetics at City Plaza, before leaving Macau through the Qingmao checkpoint at about 7:40 p.m. the same day.

At about 4 p.m. on August 6, he entered Macau at the Border Gate and made some purchases at City Plaza again. At 4:20 p.m., he left Macau via the same border checkpoint. At 5 p.m., he returned to Macau through the Qingmao Border Checkpoint, made some purchases at City Plaza, and left Macau through the same border checkpoint at 5:40 p.m.

The Border Gate neighborhood is listed a key area from today. 

Those who have crossed the border at corresponding hours on August 4, 5 or 6 are recommended to take a test.

Leong also announced that 33 people in Macau have been identified as related to the new case detected in Zhuhai, of whom nine are close contacts, 19 are found to have shared travel history and five are secondary close contacts.

The man had eight co-residents in the apartment. Two have left Macau for Zhuhai, and the remaining six tested negative in the first tests conducted yesterday.

Questions were raised about why the workplace was not identified as a red or yellow zone, but the residence was. At the same time, a key area test was initiated yesterday in Taipa but not near Polytec Garden.

SSM director and pulmonologist Alvis Lo suggested that it was too early to do so. He said that by designating about a quarter of Taipa as a key area and requiring all related people to get tested, the risks of infection were well assessed.

“We need to further evaluate the risks and sources of infections, if any,” he explained.

In relation to the measures instituted at Polytec Garden, the official said that, after August 4, the man had not stayed there.

“Therefore, we need to first confine and test the co-residents,” he said. “If they are fine, the results from people in the building will help determine the risks within the building.”

Categories Macau