Macau Begins 11th Round of Mass Testing in Worst COVID Outbreak

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Macau kicked off an 11th spherical of COVID-19 testing for residents on Monday, because the world’s largest on line casino hub prolonged a lockdown of casinos and different companies in the combat on its worst outbreak for the reason that pandemic started.

Regardless of a gentle fall in infections that noticed simply 27 new circumstances reported on Sunday, authorities mentioned town’s greater than 600,000 residents should keep dwelling, with all non-essential companies shut, till Friday.

Though greater than 90% of residents are totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID, that is the primary time Macau has needed to grapple with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

The Chinese language particular administrative area, which went into lockdown on July 11, has a tally of greater than 1,700 infections for the reason that center of June, after having been largely COVID-free following an outbreak in October 2021.

The previous Portuguese colony has just one public hospital and its medical system was already stretched earlier than the outbreak.

Macau follows China’s “zero-COVID” coverage of stamping out all outbreaks at nearly any value, which runs counter to a world development of attempting to co-exist with the virus.

Coronavirus testing for all shall be achieved at the least twice this week, with fast antigen assessments additionally required in between.

The six on line casino operators, Sands China, Wynn Macau, MGM China, Melco Resorts, Galaxy Leisure, SJM Holding, are racking up losses forward of bids for brand new licenses by subsequent month.

Nonetheless, day by day infections are fewer than elsewhere, corresponding to neighbouring Hong Kong, the place circumstances have jumped this month to greater than 3,000 a day as curbs have began to ease.

However Macau has an open border with mainland China, and lots of residents dwell and work in the adjoining metropolis of Zhuhai.

(Reporting by Farah Grasp; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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