The Macau government considers shutting down casinos as concerns about the coronavirus continue to grow, even forcing authorities to cancel the CNY parade.
Macau.- The Chinese New Year is almost here, but Macau won’t see its traditional parade. The coronavirus has already killed over a dozen people and is a major concern in China, but also around the world.
According to the government, Macau is even considering ordering its casinos to shut down as a safety measure. Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng advanced such possibility as he calls for a multi-stage plan to tackle disease control.
“When Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome hit Macau 17 years ago, we were lucky enough to record only one imported case. But now, the viral pneumonia coincides with the peak domestic travel season for Chinese New Year across China,” he said. “That huge passenger traffic means the disease could be spread to each of the Chinese provinces.”
Macau casinos have only shut down once in recent years; it was in September 2018, when Typhoon Mangkhut struck the city.
Macau’s Health Bureau confirmed on Thursday morning the second case of viral pneumonia to hit the city.
The second confirmed case is a 66-year-old man from Wuhan in China’s Hubei province who entered Macau on Wednesday afternoon. While passing through the controls that have been put in place at the Macau crossing, agents discovered he had a fever and medical staff at Macao’s Conde S. Januário Hospital subsequently diagnosed him with Wuhan pneumonia.