Macau government keeps essential public services in operation despite coronavirus

3 February 2020

The Macau government announced on Sunday that basic public services remain limited and asked residents to make use of them only in urgent cases.

It also asked business owners to adopt the same measure and only keep open services that are absolutely necessary.

Cinemas, libraries and museums have been closed since the beginning of the Lunar New Year.

The government also announced that the eighth case of coronavirus infection had been detected in Macau since the outbreak of the epidemic in the interior of China in January this year and 21 other people are in isolation.

The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ao Ieong U, renewed the call for all Macau residents to avoid leaving their homes, leaving Macau and visiting other regions.

If the residents live outside of Macau (for example, in the neighbouring municipality of Zhuhai), they should avoid entering Macau by staying at home.

The secretary said that the number of entries into and exits out of Macau fell sharply compared with the same period of last year.
The Macau authorities have ordered the closure of all nurseries, kindergartens, schools and universities in order to halt the spread of the virus.

Approximately 19,000 students enter and leave Macau every day to attend school in the territory.

The government asked all residents and visitors who have travelled to the Hubei province, where the outbreak of the epidemic occurred, to declare the period of time they remained in the infected area on their return to Macau.

The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, stated that taking into account that some workers are not Macau residents and live outside Macau, said he had contacted and negotiated with the Chinese trade associations, intermediary associations and firms, in order to arrange the entry and exit of non-resident workers.

Lei called for non-resident workers who are in Macau to stay in Macau, calling on employers to provide places to stay so as to reduce the mobility of the population and thus reduce the risk of cross-infection and the risks of an epidemic.

More than 53,000 non-residents workers living in the neighbouring municipality of Zhuhai cross the borders on a daily basis to enter and leave Macau.

In terms of tourism, there is a fall of more than 80% at the entrances and exits of Macau and some sea routes from Hong Kong have been cancelled along with dozens of flights, particularly to mainland China.

As a measure to prevent the virus from spreading the government has determined that all of the patrons of casinos in Macau should wear a mask. This measure was, in fact. already being taken by the majority of the population of Macau.

The government has ordered approximately 20 million masks that are being sold in more than 90 local pharmacies.

Supermarkets, markets and pharmacies are still open and there is no lack of essential products for day-to-day life in the city. (macauhub)