(Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)

Macau will have to step up vaccination works – National Health Commission

The Macau SAR has the obligation to adopt more active measures to promote vaccination specific campaigns targeting health professionals, staff at border posts, civil servants, teaching staff and school workers, among other key groups, the expert delegation from the National Health Commission indicated in a report.

The National Health Commission visited the SAR at the end of September when it evaluated the current prevention and control measures in force in Macau.

Although praising the pandemic measures enforced by the city’s authorities since the pandemic outbreak, the report points out that since there are frequent trips between the population of Macau and the city of Zhuhai and freedom of movement with the Mainland, continuing anti-epidemic works that can prevent imported cases and avoid an internal resurgence of the pandemic in the mainland were of great importance.

Therefore the expert delegation urged further standardizing the prevention and control of the pandemic, including the strengthening of surveillance and alert work, improving hospital infection control, increasing the capacity for rescue and clinical treatment and intensify vaccination roll-out.

‘The Macau SAR has the obligation to adopt more active measures to promote vaccination specific campaigns targeting health professionals, staff at border posts, civil servants, teaching staff and school workers, among other key groups,’ the Health Bureau said in a response to the report.

‘There is also an obligation to adopt more active measures to promote the work of vaccination, carrying out specific communication and dissemination actions for health professionals, staff at border posts, civil servants, teaching staff and school workers, among other key groups, strictly applying the principle of ‘one should be vaccinated whenever possible’.

According to Health Bureau Director, Alvis Lo, in recent days, a number of measures have been launched in Macau, including the strengthening of nucleic acid testing capacity for key groups, the publication of guidelines for vaccination requirements for workers and monitoring of personnel management measures in isolation facilities, among other measures that meet the suggestions of the group of experts.

‘The number of people vaccinated has increased in recent days and there is an expectation that the support of the population can be obtained, so that there is an increase in the rate of vaccine coverage, achieving the objective of self-protection and the protection of other people,’ Lo said according to the announcement.

This month the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau issued an order to the public sector mandating that after September 27 public workers will have to choose between being vaccinated for Covid-19 or have to carry out nucleic acid testing every 7 days.

The measure was said to have raised the daily vaccination rate average to about 4,000 a day.

More than 50 non-tertiary schools have also enrolled in the collective vaccination campaign against COVID-19, and inoculations will be organized in schools or groups will be organized to carry out collective vaccination at the Macau Forum.

According to the most recent update, a total of 332,204, people in Macau have been vaccinated with at least a dose of either Sinopharm or BioNTech vaccines, but only 291,195 received the required two doses.

This represents about 47 per cent of the total population and 53 per cent of people above 12 years of age.

The Health Bureau also noted that various associations and groups will perform their functions of raising awareness in society, explaining to them the advantages, scientific knowledge, measures to prevent and control the epidemic, as well as trying to increase the rate of vaccination, through the use of different channels, with a wide campaign in government agencies, institutions in Macau and communities.

Both parties also exchanged in-depth views on the current epidemic situation in Fujian Province, the applicable age range of Sinhopharm’s inactivated vaccines, ways to increase vaccine coverage, and health code systems for epidemic prevention.