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Macau blocks several buildings when COVID infection creeps in

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Macau officials have closed some homes as the world's largest gambling hub seeks to contain the increase in COVID-19 incidents that have shut down cities, with the exception of casinos that remain mostly open. did.

The former Portuguese colony reported 39 new infections on Friday, bringing the total number of outbreaks to 149, closing about 12 buildings and banning residents from leaving the local government. Said in a statement.

More than 5,000 people have been quarantined, the government said.

China's SAR, Macau, is testing more than 600,000 inhabitants of the coronavirus for the second time this week. The test is scheduled to end on Friday.

A temporary hospital next to the Cotai Strip, modeled after Las Vegas in Macau, will also open on Friday.

Macau closed most of the city on Thursday, including bars, cinemas, beauty salons and outdoor parks. Only takeaway from the dining facility is allowed.

Strict measures will be taken after Macau has had few COVIDs since its outbreak in October 2021. Previously, there was no need to deal with highly infectious variants of Omicron.

Macau adheres to China's "Zero COVID" policy aimed at eradicating all outbreaks at almost all costs, against the global trend of trying to coexist with the virus. increase.

Analysts say casino revenues are likely to approach zero in the coming weeks. Residents said that only one of the more than 30 casinos in the region was closed as an anti-COVID measure, but the other casinos had few customers.

Macau cases are far below daily infections elsewhere. This includes neighboring Hong Kong, where more than 1,000 cases are skyrocketing on the 1st of this month.

This year's outbreak in Hong Kong confirmed more than 1 million infections, killed more than 9,000 people and overwhelmed hospitals and public services. Officials there are trying to relax some restrictions.

Macau has only one public hospital and its services are already expanding on a daily basis. A quick plan to test the population of the entire territory is to keep the border with mainland China where many inhabitants live and work in the neighboring city of Zhuhai. (Report by Farah Master, edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan)