Macau Associations predict longer confinement and lament loss of wages - Plataforma Media

Macau Associations predict longer confinement and lament loss of wages

To combat the current Covid-19 outbreak, the population is not allowed to go outside except for tests, in case of health emergencies or supermarkets, for example. Macau associations told Lusa they believe the partial confinement in Macau will last more than a week and lamented the loss of workers’ wages in the face of tougher measures to combat Covid-19.

“Whether it works or not, [the lockdown], may last more than just seven days,” said Community Development Initiative president, former MP Au Kam-San, as Macau shut down all non-essential commercial activities until July 18, closed casinos and ordered the overwhelming majority of the population to stay at home.

Read more about this topic: Casino operators’ shares fall after Macau imposes partial confinement

“If the number of positive cases does not decrease during the seven-day period of the partial closure, and they are not enough, then the Government will try for another seven days,” Au Kam-San said, adding immediately afterwards: “If the number of positive cases is effectively reduced, and since it is effective, the Government will say that it (?) should continue.

In the announcement of the partial confinement, the authorities stressed that employers are legally relieved of paying salaries, with employees going on unpaid leave, or taking vacations.

This results in “significant financial losses,” not least because for some workers who stop for seven days without pay, it is “a matter of survival,” Au Kam-San pointed out. “What measures has the government taken to enable their survival? What is the Government’s plan?” he questioned.

Read also: Covid-19: Macau government pressured to control outbreak between local and Beijing messages

Lei Cheng I, deputy and vice-president of the Federation of Workers’ Associations, stressed that, regardless of the confinement time, there is a government response that must be given as soon as possible, because “nobody knows what will happen after these seven days, nobody can calculate with 100% accuracy if the community will be active after these seven days.

The MP and association leader expressed deep concern for Macau’s economy because “companies are facing operational losses or pressures during the partial confinement. Workers are most directly affected due to the fact that they are legally taking unpaid leave.”

Read more about this topic: Restaurants at home

“[For this reason] We wish the government to distribute aid to combat the epidemic,” he maintained, stressing that the authorities “need to optimize economic assistance measures as soon as possible.” “The longer it takes, the more inconvenience and hardship it will cause for the people while their work is interrupted,” Lei Cheng I explained.

The leader of Caritas Macau, Paul Pun, on the other hand, while expressing concern especially for the most vulnerable people, said he agreed with the local policy, also pointing out that “employers have no income during this period and are unable to pay wages.” Therefore, “people need to be in solidarity with each other, and those who can afford to do so will do their best,” he said, convinced, but expressing doubts that the general confinement will stop for this week.

Read also: Macau lockdown begins, Hong Kong mulls health code app

Paul Pun stressed that “the measure impacts the entire population,” but that “some groups with reduced mobility and vulnerability must be of particular concern.

On Sunday, a new series of four rounds of mass testing of the population began to control the current Covid-19 outbreak, which has caused two deaths and more than 1,500 infected. With this new round, the number of mass tests will total ten in a single month. The population is also obliged to perform daily antigen tests and upload the result to an ‘online’ platform. With a few exceptions, people are not allowed to go out on the streets, except to perform tests, in case of health emergencies or supermarkets, for example.

On the first day, the police, who announced a reinforcement of surveillance in the streets, made almost a thousand warnings and identified at least four people who would be violating the determinations of the authorities, such as not wearing a mask, which can result in a sentence of up to two years, or a fine of up to 240 days.

Este artigo está disponível em: Português

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