No need to allow medical quarantines at home – Gov’t

Health authorities stated today (Monday) that they are not considering to allow medical observations to be completed at home instead of the currently designated hotels.

“According to the situation in Macau, we consider that it is better to have quarantines in designated hotels. If you remember we had previously allowed self-isolation at home but some residents criticised this so we decided only for quarantines in hotels. We consider this to be safer and since we have enough available rooms we don’t think it to be urgent to change this,” Conde S. Januario Hospital Dr. Alvis Lo Iek Long.

Currently, there are now three hotels designated for quarantines, the Treasure Hotel, the Golden Crown China Hotel and the Pousada Marina Infante hotel in Cotai.

Local residents arriving the city from outside Greater China are required to complete a 14-day quarantine despite having also to provide a negative nucleic acid test to be allowed to enter the city.

At this moment there are still 1,149 people completing medical observations in hotels, with 792 being tourists, some 319 being residents and 38 non-resident workers.

Since September 1 Macau residents who undergo their 14 days of quarantine and medical observation at one of the hotels also have to pay a fee of MOP5,600 (US$700) from the second time onwards.

However, residents are not allowed to choose the hotel or room where they will stay in or the conditions for the 14-day quarantine which has previously led to some complaints being submitted by residents.

Tourism authorities admitted today that they have received some complaints concerning the conditions faced by some residents currently completing medical observations in local designated hotels.

“We have received some complaints since September 1, over the meals provided, the equipment provided but the number of complaints has been falling,” the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) PR Director Lau Fong Chi.

In a recent case that Macau News Agency became aware of, a local resident travelling via Taiwan was placed under medical observation at the Treasure Hotel in front of the Macau International Airport has filed complaints due to the conditions of the room.

The resident in question suffers from asthma and has complained the room she has been placed does not allow to open the window and has no outside air circulation.

“In terms of complaints there are several things, the main ones being the smell of mould as soon as you leave the elevator on the floor of the rooms and it denotes an air without conditions of healthiness. In the rooms the same thing as you can’t even open the windows, you can’t ventilate the room, and you only have the air conditioning that I don’t know the state of cleanliness and quality of air circulation,” Diana Massada told MNA.

Massada is also completing the quarantine with her 7-year old son and has expressed that the size and hygienic conditions of the room are seriously lacking.

“I’m staying with my son and we were given a room where you could only walk around the beds. I didn’t have any space to move around a bit, exercise a little or play […] I received several towels, not just one, with hair from other people in spite of being delivered as washed,” Massada added.

Massada returned to Macau so that her son could resume his presential classes in the SAR, and the complaints have already been addressed by the MGTO.

“We have been made aware of this complaint and we communicated this to the Health Bureau. Considering the health situation of this person and that she was staying with her son, we have already changed her room,” MGTO representative Lau said.

The resident in question confirmed to MNA she and her son had already been transferred today to a different room with better conditions.

“In my opinion, all people should have the conditions that I have at the moment to quarantine in a hotel because it is the minimum to be kept closed for 14 days. People who travel are not criminals, nor are they in most cases sick people. They must be treated with respect and dignity,” Massada told MNA.

“Small hotel rooms make sense, and I also stay in them, in a vacation situation where the person leaves the room, walks around and in reality little time spends in the room except to sleep. This is not the case for those quarantined. We are treated like cattle, and almost like criminals without any regard for the person who is going to be in a situation that is not at all easy”

Macau has not reported any new Covid-19 cases for 122 consecutive days.