Macau: no new Covid-19 infections for first time since mid-June

There have been 1,816 Covid-19 cases in the latest outbreak.
There have been 1,816 Covid-19 cases in the latest outbreak.

The government of Macau has reported that no new Covid-19 cases were identified yesterday.

Macau.- There’s some hope that Macau’s latest Covid-19 outbreak may be waning. The city has reported its first day with no new Covid-19 cases since June 19. The city has identified 1,816 cases since the last outbreak began and a series of countermeasures were introduced.

Casinos reopened at the weekend after two weeks of closure but business remains practically nil in a month that has had barely any visitors. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein expect casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) to be close to zero for July.

Other non-essential businesses including cinemas, health clubs and beauty parlours remain shut, and people must also stay home except for urgent tasks, such as work and shopping.

Analysts noted that Macau’s GGR recovery will depend on reducing local Covid-19 cases to zero and resuming quarantine-free travel with mainland China. However, during a webinar held by the France Macau Chamber of Commerce (FMCC), analysts agreed that the recovery of the Macau tourism market could be as rapid as that of Las Vegas once travel restrictions are lifted.

According to Macau Business, Andrew Klebanow, co-founder and senior partner of C3 Gaming, said: “Once vaccines started to become widely available in March 2021 people felt very comfortable going out again and there was this pent-up demand for entertainment, to just get out of the house or get out of town to a casino and to escape.”

Joseph Greff from JP Morgan Securities came to a similar conclusion and said the gaming industry might rebound quickly once inbound travel restrictions are relaxed.

During an interview with business news outlet CNBC, Greff pointed out that while the outlook is tough for the near term, in the longer term, Macau could have access “to a large quantum of people with a proclivity to game.”

However, for now, despite a high vaccination rate, China and Macau are sticking to a zero-Covid-19 programme, seeking to curb outbreaks at almost any cost, contrary to other countries, where the virus is already widespread.

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