Macau residents ordered to test daily for Covid-19 for a week

Macau residents queueing for Covid-19 tests on June 20, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - All Macau residents must perform daily Covid-19 rapid tests on themselves and report the results to the government for the next week, with mass laboratory tests slated for the coming weekend.

Infants, young children, the elderly and others who were exempt from previous testing mandates, including those who cannot walk, must also participate, the government said in a statement.

The daily testing will run through July 31.

The requirement comes as Macau enters a period of "consolidation", where it attempts to keep new Covid-19 cases at an ultra-low level, even as it reopens casinos.

The gambling hub, once the largest in the world until the pandemic hit, shut operations for nearly two weeks and reopened on Saturday (July 23).

The city reported five new cases for July 23, all within controlled areas or quarantine facilities. There were no new community cases. There have been a total of 1,810 infections detected in Macau since June 18.

Macau's aggressive response to its outbreak reflects China's Covid Zero policy, where every effort is made to eradicate the virus.

Most visitors to the Chinese-controlled territory come from the mainland, and reopening the border with quarantine-free travel is critical to Macau's economy.

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