Public still asked to wear masks, even if supply scheme ends

After hinting that the centralized mask supply scheme might come to an end in the future, Lo Iek Long, medical director of the Conde São Januário Hospital, clarified that the scheme’s termination does not imply that wearing masks will no longer be necessary.
The doctor made the clarification at the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center’s daily press conference yesterday, where he was questioned about the end of the scheme.
He stressed that residents should not misinterpret the government’s future termination of the scheme, if it occurs, and think that mask wearing is no longer necessary from then on.
He said the necessity of wearing masks was “not about the mask scheme,” but “about the condition of the pandemic.”
He added that it is the right time to consider the discontinuation of the scheme. The scheme, he said, was a successful project that has been favored by residents. However, following the resumption of work in many cities on the mainland, the doctor thinks masks have now become more accessible.
Indeed, he has checked prices himself and found many places were selling boxes of 50 masks at 150 patacas. He thinks that price point is considered affordable in Macau.
“Even if price speculation happens, I believe local people, including the government, will not hesitate to report it,” the doctor stated with confidence.
Furthermore, Lo disclosed that the government is working with mainland authorities on measures that can facilitate cross-border travels. The mechanism will likely be the “Health Code Scheme,” already in effect on the other side of the border.
Leong Iek Hou, coordinator at the local Center for Disease Control and Prevention, added that the Macau version of the Health Code Scheme will very likely be founded on the existing electronic health declaration.
Both officials said a formal announcement will be made once the information is ready.
Separately – and also announced during yesterday’s press conference – recovered patients outside of Macau have shown the presence of antibodies following an infection with Covid-19. Whether this antibody is effective in blocking further infection is, however, unknown, Lo said. The local health authority has not monitored local recovered Covid-19 patients with regards to the existence of antibodies.
As of yesterday, the city has been free of new Covid-19 cases for a total of two weeks. Excluding cases infected by an imported case, known in the mainland as “related imported cases”, the city has been clear of new infections for 25 days.
Meanwhile, two more patients have recovered from the disease and have been discharged from the hospital. They were both transferred to the Public Health Clinical Center for recovery quarantine.
They are a 37-year-old Filipina non-resident worker and a 44-year-old male local. The former has stayed in the hospital for 28 days. Her hospitalization and treatment amounted to a 15,000-pataca bill.
The latter, on the other hand, has been hospitalized for 25 days. The cost of his therapy will be borne by the government, according to legal stipulations on the treatment of contagious diseases.

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