In Macau and local authorities have reportedly instituted a number of measures to help better insulate the city from the recent outbreak of a highly-infectious coronavirus that has so far claimed nine lives in neighboring China.
According to a report from The Straits Times newspaper, the previously unknown virus was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and causes victims to develop pneumonia-like symptoms including fever, shortness of breath, coughs and breathing difficulties.
The newspaper reported that health officials in Macau have now decided to combat this outbreak by ordering staff at every one of the city’s over 40 casinos to wear protective face masks while instituting a scheme that requires arriving visitors to fill out a health declaration form. Authorities for the former Portuguese enclave have also purportedly detailed that they will now be more regularly cleaning public spaces such as taxi and bus stops and placing body temperature monitors at entry points such as the Macau Ferry Terminal and the Portas do Cerco border crossings.
The Straits Times additionally reported that the new measures were announced just as Macau recorded its first ever case of the new coronavirus condition courtesy of a 52-year-old businesswoman who had travelled to the city from Wuhan on Sunday via high-speed rail. It purportedly explained that the sufferer is known to have subsequently stayed at the New Orient Landmark Hotel in the company of two friends and was admitted to hospital yesterday to undergo treatment.
Ao Ieong Iu, Social Affairs and Culture Secretary for Macau, reportedly told the newspaper that the city is expecting to record a swell in tourist numbers this weekend due to celebrations to mark the coming Chinese New Year and that officials are furthermore working to bring temperature screening devices to all local gambling venues. She purportedly added that 405 guest entrances as well as 47 staff doorways at casinos located across the enclave had already been provided with portable inspection devices while all of these facilities’ employees and performers are being checked to ensure that they are free from contamination.
Ao Ieong reportedly told the newspaper…
“We have not banned tourism groups from Wuhan but we are not encouraging them. We will stay in close contact with tourism agencies and require them to notify us of all groups going to and coming from Wuhan.”
It was further reported that 440 people from across China have so far been diagnosed as having been infected with the new strain of the coronavirus while a further nine cases have been seen abroad including in locations as far afield as Thailand and the United States.