CE, Zhuhai officials exchange views on latest epidemic control work

MACAO, Jan. 15 – Chief Executive Mr. Ho Iat Seng held a meeting on Saturday, Jan. 15 via video conference with officials in Zhuhai to exchange views on the epidemic control measures being implemented. in both locations, and the response to new COVID-19 cases detected in locations near Macau.

During the meeting, Communist Party of China Zhuhai Municipal Committee Secretary Lu Yuyin reported on the latest situation in Zhuhai regarding a new round of epidemic control and prevention work.

Ho mentioned Zhuhai’s quick response and effective measures to control the risk of spreading new COVID-19 cases, saying these efforts have also ensured Macao’s safety, as the two cities are closely linked.

Zhuhai immediately launched its emergency plan and implemented effective measures, following new COVID-19 cases detected in Nanping Town, Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai, Ho noted. Such work illustrates the good functioning of the Zhuhai-Macao joint prevention and control mechanism, Ho added.

Macao will continue to cooperate fully with Zhuhai regarding the latter’s implementation of epidemic control and response measures, and the two sides will stay in close communication, Ho said. He said he is confident that Zhuhai was able to solve the problems he was currently facing.

The Chief Executive further said that the daily lives of about 6,200 people in Macau have been directly affected by the new COVID-19 cases recorded in nearby places, including Tanzhou City in Zhongshan and Nanping City in Zhuhai. These people from Macau had seen their Macau health code status turned “yellow”, with 1,043 of them each required to undergo medical observation in Macau, self-isolate at home or observe others special control measures, i.e. taking two nucleic acid test drugs within three days.

Over the past two years, the fight against COVID-19 and epidemic prevention and control work have become an integral part of daily life, Ho said. From the end of 2021 until the beginning of this year, there has been a re-emergence of COVID-19, with new cases recorded in several mainland cities. They had all been well mastered, through the use of a scientific approach. The experience that cities on the continent had gained in fighting the disease served as a benchmark for any new epidemic, in particular the practice of planning by district and by risk.

During his briefing, Secretary Lu said Zhuhai immediately conducted a mass nucleic acid testing exercise after a COVID-19 case was detected in Zhongshan. Zhuhai area-specific mass testing covered 510,000 people in four neighboring areas of Tanzhou city and resulted in seven people testing “positive” for COVID-19 this morning, all with the Omicron variant. One case involved a person with symptoms and six involved asymptomatic people. New measures were taken on Friday January 14, involving Zhuhai carrying out nucleic acid tests for the entire city. Of the 1.95 million samples collected, some 1.81 million (93.96 percent) had already tested “negative” for COVID-19 infection, Lu said.

Currently, only Nanping City in Zhuhai has been listed as a restricted area. The incidence of the disease has generally remained under control, Lu said.

After the Macao-Zhuhai meeting, the chief executive received a briefing from the Macao Special Administrative Region (SARM) government bodies involved in epidemic control tasks. Mr. Ho asked them to optimize their approach to environmental assessment and neighborhood management in a context where measures to combat epidemics have become part of daily life. Ho further instructed relevant officials to follow the principle of a rigorous, precise and scientific approach to formulating disease control measures. The government’s anti-epidemic measures need to be fine-tuned even more in the future, the chief executive added.

Macau officials present at the videoconference included: Administration and Justice Secretary Mr. Cheong Weng Chon; Security Secretary Mr. Wong Sio Chak; the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ms. Ao Ieong U; the Commissioner General of the Unitary Police Department, Mr. Leong Man Cheong; the Director General of Macao Customs, Mr. Vong Man Chong; and the Chief Executive of the Office of the Chief Executive, Ms. Hoi Lai Fong.

Officials representing Zhuhai present at the videoconference included: Guangdong Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Director Mr. Li Huanchun; and Deputy Secretary of Zhuhai Municipal CCP Committee and Mayor of Zhuhai, Mr. Huang Zhihao.

Maria D. Ervin