Macao SAR to launch makeshift hospital in battle against fresh COVID-19 spike
Published: Jun 21, 2022 09:37 PM
Food stores at Rua do Cunha street in Macao Photo: IC

Food stores at Rua do Cunha street in Macao Photo: IC

China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) initiated two contingency plans ensuring sufficient quarantine and treatment facilities after reporting 49 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday amid rising epidemic risks. 

One contingency plan is the launch of a makeshift hospital in the Macao East Asian Games Dome on Tuesday. It is ready to receive confirmed patients. The other is the arrangement of quarantine hotels, which are also ready to work from Tuesday. 

The Macao SAR said in April that makeshift hospitals would be launched if the total infection number exceeded 50. 

Some 20 doctors and 40 to 50 nurses will be assigned to care for patients, according to media reports, and the medical facilities and strategies of the makeshift hospital will be adjusted in light of changes in the epidemic situation.

The China International Emergency Medical Team (Macao SAR) has completed related training and is expected to send the initial medical teams to provide services at the makeshift hospital, said media reports. If needed, the Macao SAR may ask for assistance from the Chinese mainland. 

Kou Kam Fai, a member of the seventh Legislative Assembly of the Macao SAR, told the Global Times on Tuesday that local residents are very cooperative in epidemic prevention procedures such as showing their health codes to take public transport or participating in tests.

A majority of residents are not panicked, as the vaccination rate in the region is relatively high and the rate of severe cases is low, and daily supplies are enough to support residents' lives, Kou said.

A three-day mass nucleic acid testing program ended at noon on Tuesday, with 677,586 samples having been collected, of which 542,692 showed a negative result. A total of 21 (10 mixed 1) samples initially tested positive, said health authority of the Macao SAR.

Those who did not take the nucleic acid test by 3 pm on Tuesday will have a yellow health code, and they have to get a negative result before switching to green, the SAR said, calling on the residents to complete the testing promptly.

Non-emergency public departments in the Macao SAR will close for another three days starting on Wednesday.

"We trust the Macao SAR, and the experience of taking mass nucleic acid tests has been improved. We can take tests promptly after making an appointment without lining up," a 49-year-old local resident told the Global Times on Tuesday on condition of anonymity. 

To curb the virus' spread, the region is requiring people to show a health code before taking public transportation and limiting dine-in services, according to the resident.

Another local resident surnamed Leong, who runs a coffee trading business, told the Global Times on Tuesday that most people in Macao will follow the rules voluntarily. Under the regional authorities' efforts along with residents' cooperation, "I have confidence that the epidemic will be put under control in a rapid manner," Leong said.