The Macau Government is under pressure to control the current outbreak of covid-19, between local messages and from Beijing, when it continues to bet on massive testing and move away from the general confinement scenario.
Macau deputy Ron Lam explains to Lusa that the population suffers from “anti-pandemic fatigue” and criticizes the Government for being “unable to decide to coexist with covid-19, or to implement Beijing’s zero-case policy”.
Lam maintains that the population “is on the verge of a nervous breakdown”, argues that it is crucial that Macau realizes that it has no option but to “follow the policies of mainland China” and that “the Government must have a plan and a timetable ” to control the current outbreak of covid-19.
“My opinion is that, as many traders have told me, the Government should completely close Macau as soon as possible, for a week, two weeks”, he adds.
And he concludes: “The main problem is that the Government must have a direction, it needs to have a calendar” and may even, for example, “this week, completely and totally restrict non-essential travel, the non-essential flow of people, the universal verification at home, to bring the epidemic under control”.
The president of the Macanese Youth Association (AJM) also tells Lusa that “the Government has to define a timetable, an agenda, a plan and the exact moment to execute it”.
Also because, highlights António Monteiro, “the population does not agree with the approach” of the authorities.
Even stressing that “Macau cannot be closed forever”, when asked about the hypothesis of a general confinement, the association leader leaves the message in the form of a question: “It is safer at home, I am at home and many [employees of] government departments are at home. But there are people who work in buses, in private sectors, in supermarkets, and they have to do mass testing, and as soon as we leave, we are at risk of infection. Is there a better solution?”.
The president of one of the gambling workers’ associations in the world capital of casinos tells Lusa that “now the epidemic cannot be controlled”, and if “the Government, at the beginning, closed [Macau] completely, perhaps it would have been better than than the current ongoing massive testing.”
Cloee Chão maintains that the drag on the outbreak is “the big problem”, since “the current situation of absence of income for a long period of time is definitely a huge impact on the lives” of workers.
“The population of Macau is divided into two points of view: from an economic point of view, it is that Macau should be open, however, from the point of view of public health security, it is that the zero cases policy should be implemented” , explains.
On Monday, in an article in the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), entitled “There are no students lucky when it comes to the virus”, it is noted that, despite the initial decisions to the current outbreak have been “timely, with thorough planning and implementation”, now, overall, “Macao’s approach has not been satisfactory”.
The message, from Beijing, breaks down into examples, to conclude that “almost all possible problems that could arise in the face of an outbreak have arisen”, especially since, it is underlined, “this outbreak, although sudden, was not unexpected”.
The PCC daily recalls a survey of the population of Macau in favor of general confinement and that “the common feeling is that the current preventive measures are not rigorous and timely enough, and that there are many concerns”.
“Only by facing problems, not taking risks, not avoiding difficulties, keeping a close eye on issues and introducing decisive measures, and not hesitating in their implementation, will we be able to fight the virus head-on and win in the shortest possible time”, can be read in the newspaper.
Macau has broken a daily record of cases since June 19, after the current outbreak was detected and recorded the first two deaths from covid-19 on Sunday.
Authorities brought forward the end of the school year, suspended the normal operation of public services, reduced public transport services and ordered the closure of establishments, with supermarkets keeping their doors open, but with restaurants only being able to sell take-out food. .
Thousands of people are quarantined in hotels and parts of the city are isolated.