China’s casino hub orders testing days after easing COVID curbs

Macau tells 700,000 residents to undergo testing after man tests positive after travelling to neighbouring city.

China’s gambling hub Macau has ordered residents to undergo two days of COVID-19 tests after a person who travelled to the neighbouring city of Zhuhai tested positive for the virus.

The announcement comes just days after Macau began easing its strict pandemic restrictions, including allowing quarantine-free travel to Zhuhai, ​​and as lockdowns in the Chinese resort island of Hainan over the weekend left tens of thousands of tourists trapped in their hotels.

Authorities in the former Portuguese colony said in a statement on Sunday that all of the city’s 700,000 residents would have to take rapid antigen tests on Sunday and Monday and upload the results to a government website.

Meanwhile, thousands of residents living near Macau’s border with mainland China would be required to take official nucleic acid tests, the statement said.

Authorities have also sealed up the infected person’s apartment building and the supermarket where the person worked.

Macau reopened public services and entertainment facilities and allowed the resumption of in-restaurant dining on August 2.

The casino hub has reported about 1,800 infections since mid-June when the city’s worst coronavirus outbreak prompted authorities to put most of the city into lockdown.

While the rest of the world is living with COVID-19, China is sticking to an ultra-strict “zero COVID” policy aimed at stamping out the virus despite mounting economic and social costs.

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