Macau begins Covid-19 tests, shuts some venues after four new cases

The gambling hub of Macau has registered only 59 coronavirus cases and recorded no deaths so far. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - The gambling hub of Macau has launched a test programme for its 600,000 people after the Chinese-ruled city confirmed four new coronavirus cases on Tuesday (Aug 3), its government said in a statement on Wednesday.

Macau has set up 41 nucleic acid testing stations across the city that will run non-stop for at least three days, which is the estimated required period, the statement said. Appointments would not be required, it said.

Separately, the government said cinemas, theatres, indoor playgrounds, bowling alleys, massage parlours, bars, nightclubs, and other such venues would be closed from midnight.

Macau's casinos, the city's main economic engine and source of revenues, remain open.

The casinos were forced to suspend operations for two weeks last year due to the coronavirus. Although they have reopened, business remains subdued as travel restrictions discourage affluent gamblers from entering Macau.

Macau has registered only 59 coronavirus cases and recorded no deaths so far, according to Hong Kong government data.

In a separate statement, Hong Kong's government said it removed Macau from its list of places from which residents could return to the finance hub without the need for quarantine. The Return2HK list now contains places only from mainland China.

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