Macau government prepares new system for disease control through digital means

23 April 2020

The Macau government is studying the creation of a new “health code” through an application with a colour QR code to make it easier for residents and non-residents who travel to mainland China, to enter and leave Macau.

Red indicates that the bearer is a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19, yellow will indicate close contact with a case and green indicates that the carrier has had no contact with the disease.

The code will be similar to the one currently used in China and the one involving a nucleic acid tests and is intended to facilitate movement at Macau’s borders, particularly for Macau residents and non-resident workers, so that they can more easily cross the border with the neighbouring municipality of Zhuhai.

This new code would also facilitate the movement of thousands of young people from Zhuhai studying in Macau.

Since 20 February non-resident workers who live in Zhuhai have been required to undergo quarantine for 15 days in the municipality itself before being allowed entry into Macau.

The coordinator of the Centre for the Coordination of Contingency Planning of the New Coronavirus, Leong Iek Hou said on Wednesday at a press conference that the new health code aims to increase the basic functions of the Health Declaration to improve the communication of the state of health of its users using a colour-coded system.

Leong said that in due course details of this new feature of the “health code,” a digital health services application in Macau, which has been in force since the beginning of the epidemic and gives Macau residents access to government departments, public services and casinos.

The announcement of this new application was made at a time when non news cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Macau for 15 days.

The Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said on Monday that the restrictive measures on entering and leaving Macau from and to Guangdong province may only be lifted when the health code is compatible with the one used in mainland China.

Ho also said that the system used in China cannot be applied in Macau due to the personal data protection law.

The Chief Executive also said that contacts are underway with the Guangdong health authorities to create the new Macau health code. (macauhub)