Quarantine lifted for all mainland China provinces

Long lines of cross-border travelers were seen at the Border Gate yesterday as Macau-Zhuhai authorities trialed a new health declaration system. According to the report of a Zhuhai-based non-resident worker, authorities blocked the crossing and forced travelers to split into just two lines to check the code.

The entire mainland is now off Macau’s list of highly infected zones, meaning that entrants from the north of the country will no longer need to be quarantined upon arrival, Dr Leong Iek Hou, coordinator at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday.
In addition, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng issued an Executive Order to lift the ban on people who have been to Hubei Province in the past 14 days from entering Macau casinos. The Order takes effect from today.
The two actions were initiated after the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center conducted an evaluation on the Covid-19 situation on the mainland.
“Following our evaluation on the situation on the mainland, especially in Beijing, we have decided to remove the capital city from our list of highly infected zones,” the medical doctor announced. “Meanwhile, Hubei Province has also been removed from the list.”
“It means that anybody who has been to the mainland shall not be quarantined when they enter Macau,” the medical doctor added. “In addition, people who have been to Hubei Province in the preceding 14 days will now be allowed into casinos in Macau.”
Leong explained that the health authority’s evaluation determines that the mainland’s risks to Macau are relatively low.
For the time being, mainland authorities continue to suspend the issuance of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) permit to the Special Administrative Regions. People hoping to enter the SARs can only do so with other entry permits.
The Coronavirus Center did not announce whether the IVS is resuming in the near future, despite rumors saying it will resume tomorrow.
The health authority was also asked whether the Blood Transfusion Service, which is administered by the Health Bureau, has implemented effective measures against Covid-19.
Yesterday, Hong Kong saw a new case of someone who had donated blood before contracting the virus. This was just one case of 52 new infections confirmed in the neighboring city yesterday, most of which were locally-transmitted.
The medical director of the public Conde São Januário Hospital, Dr Alvis Lo, is confident that his colleagues have been following guidelines to ensure the safety of blood transfusions.
“Blood transfusion safety is crucial,” Lo stressed. “During the outbreak of Zika virus, we took specific measures to ensure safety.”
Lo could not give further details yesterday but pledged to do so when information becomes available. However, he explained that there is no sufficient evidence to prove that the coronavirus can be spread through blood.
“Each type of contagious disease has particular transmission channels,” Lo explained. “As a respiratory disease, this coronavirus is mainly spread through droplets and contact, although the WHO could not rule out transmission by air.”
He stressed that for the time being, there is no report saying that the virus can spread through blood. However, when assessing the risks, he prefers to be more cautious.
People who have doubts about their own infection status should avoid donating blood, the medical doctor suggested.

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