Health conditions sufficient to allow casinos to re-open – Medical practitioner

Doctor Jorge Sales Marques has stated to Macau News Agency (MNA) that the current health situation in the city allows for casino operations to resume tomorrow.

“I think as of this moment and considering that we have not seen any new confirmed cases for two weeks [ the re-opening can proceed]. We have to also consider that they are now much better prepared for re-opening and are following the Health Bureau recommendations,” the medical expert told MNA.

Some 10 confirmed cases have been reported in Macau so far, with five having already been discharged and with no new cases reported in the last 14 days.

The 15-day suspension on casino operations imposed by the Macau government on midnight of February 5 will be lifted after midnight February 20, but with gaming operators allowed to postpone or partially reopen their casinos for a period of 30 days.

A paediatrician, Dr. Marques is currently part of a medical ‘reserve’ team at the Conde S. Januario hospital that can be called for assistance with Covid-19 patients if needed.

“I think casinos are perfectly prepared for this situation. Casinos closed after we recorded the 9th and 10th confirmed cases but during the period when they were open we didn’t record that many cases. Meaning that preventive measures had been appropriate,” Dr. Marques noted.

The casino suspension was announced on February 4, the same day the last two confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported, a Galaxy worker and an SJM Holdings shuttle bus driver.

“We can’t jump to conclusions that with casinos open the situation will worsen or without them will improve. The issue also concerns personal hygiene, washing your hands […] using masks. They are all important measures that should be followed regardless if casinos are open or not,” Dr. Marques added.

The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau has described some of the new health preventive measures that will have to be enforced by local gaming operators after casino operation, such as regular cleanings and maintaining a minimum distance between customers.

“I can say that comparing to many other countries in Asia impacted with the virus and with great health systems, Macau has had excellent results. Meaning we are doing excellent preventive work. Regardless of the disease, prevention is always the best way to avoid contagion.”