(Xinhua/Han Yan)

Gov’t sold about 92 mln masks since the pandemic began

About 92 million rationed masks have been sold in Macau since the beginning of the pandemic in late January, local authorities said today (Monday).

According to information released today during the COVID-19 pandemic follow-up press conference, 4.7 million masks were sold in just over a week.

The rationed sale of masks began about five months ago, on January 24, and was one of the first measures of the Macau Government to stop the spread of COVID-19, justified by the lack of supply in the world market.

Under rationing, each person can purchase ten masks every ten days, at around half a hundred pharmacies with agreements in the territory, at a reduced price: eight patacas, which represents less than one euro.

On Wednesday, pharmacies start the 17th mask supply plan.

On Friday, health services announced a new case of contagion of COVID-19, the first in the territory since April 9.

From June 17 until July 16, a special corridor between the territory and Hong Kong is open, to allow people trapped by the pandemic to return home.

Macau was one of the first territories to identify cases of infection with the COVID-19, before the end of January.

The city then registered a first wave of ten cases. Another 35 cases started in March, all imported, a situation associated with the return of residents, many students in higher education in foreign countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 500,000 deaths and infected almost 10.1 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.