(Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

Health authorities still studying possible NAT testing exemption for children

Health authorities are still evaluating if infants and young children could be exempted from future testing rounds.

Authorities had indicated yesterday that children could possibly be exempted from testing if they had not left their place of residence, or are not in the yellow or red lockdown areas.

Speaking in the daily pandemic update press conference, Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre Coordinator Dr. Leong Iek Hou indicated that if new testing rounds are announced any decision on this matter would be revealed.

The most updated cumulative number of positive cases in the current wave of the epidemic has increased to 414 as of this morning, but 37 preliminary positive cases discovered in the meantime

Among the 414 positive cases, 105 showed symptoms with the remaining 309 beingasymptomatic. The critically ill patient revealed yesterday is still currently in stable condition.

In addition, the third citywide testing had so far collected samples from 602,000 people have been sampled, of which 21 mixed samples showed preliminary positive results, and 306,000 had already tested negative.

As of 3:00 pm today a total of 9,256 people have been placed in medical observation, including 414 positive cases, 1,332 close contacts, 6,216 people with a common track, 353 secondary close contacts, 295 general contacts, and 446 accompanying persons.

Health and police authorities also expressed today that although not wearing masks or having gatherings in public places was not prohibited it was “highly recommended” as a way to control the current outbreak.

Since the most recent community outbreak was initiated Public Security Police Force officers have been seen requesting residents to avoid unnecessary outings, avoid leaving their houses and wear masks properly.

Although no official Chief Executive has been issued making these behaviour illegals DR. Leong underlined that the Omnicron variant spreading in Macau was highly transmissible and could lead to serious adverse health effects.