Without the pomp and circumstance of the first recovery, Macau health authorities informed the public yesterday of the release of the second patient to recover from novel coronavirus (Covid-19). The information was disclosed by Doctor Chang Tam Fei during yesterday’s press conference to provide updates on the epidemic.
“The patient that was released from the hospital is the fifth case [diagnosed in Macau]. She was released today [yesterday] from the hospital. She is a woman aged 21 from Wuhan and after a 16-day treatment [period] presented a very stable condition and the lungs are working well. She also tested negative in the last two acid nucleic tests at the nasopharynges. This means she meets the requirements [to be discharged],” Chang said.
Chang adding that the patient, contrary to what happened in the first case, did not request to be exempted from payment for the treatments, and was asked to pay a total of MOP25,000.
The same statement clarified that the woman, who had already left Macau on Wednesday afternoon, could not pay for the expenses immediately but that she promised to do so, having signed a document from the hospital in which she acknowledged she would settle the bill in the upcoming 30 days.
Regarding the request for exemption of payment of the medical expenses of the first patient released, Chang said, “the request is still under consideration,” as it has not yet been confirmed that the patient would not have to pay for her treatment, or at least cover part of the cost.
The Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre (CHCSJ) Emergency Division Acting Chief also informed that in the last 24 hours a total of 1,024 screening tests were performed, and that another 21 people are waiting for the screening test. From those, 350 tests were performed on people considered to be of high risk such as shuttle bus drivers and other bus drivers, all of them with negative results, Chang added, noting also that another 103 samples collected from drivers on Tuesday were also negative for the virus.
Chang took the opportunity to thank the public for the high level of response registered by the Health Bureau (SSM) for volunteers to the Anti-Epidemic Assistance and Support Team. As of February 11, 900 applications had been received to be part of the team.
Of the applicants, Chang noted that 696 are healthcare professionals and 12 are university students that are studying in the health field. Some 285 other candidates, although not qualified in the health field, expressed willingness to help with any needed tasks. The SSM will now analyze the candidates’ professional experience to make a selection.
The Coordinator of the local Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Leong Iek Hou, also noted the support of the insurance company China Life, which is providing special insurance for all healthcare professionals and volunteers to ensure that these people are protected in case of an accident or sickness resulting from their activities.