Only 8pct of all confirmed Covid cases in the SAR reported after 7th day of quarantine

About 92 per cent of all confirmed Covid-19 cases in the SAR since the pandemic outbreak until now have been detected in the first seven days of medical observation after entry, health authorities revealed today (Thursday).

“About 80 per cent of all cases were detected on the first day upon arrival […] On average and considering the Omnicron variant the remaining cases are detected by the third day,” Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre Coordinator Dr. Leong Iek Hou said in the weekly pandemic update press conference.

The response was provided to questions by reporters in the weekly pandemic update press conference held today over the reasons for authorities to maintain the current 14-day quarantine requirements for most arrivals coming from outside the SAR.

Currently, anyone travelling to the Macau SAR – apart from mainland China – has to provide a negative nucleic acid test carried out in the 24 to 48 hours before travelling to Macau and have two or more Covid-19 vaccine doses are allowed entry, with a 14-day quarantine plus seven days of health self-observation required.

Since the pandemic outbreak until today a total of 82 confirmed cases and 113 asymptomatic infections have been reported in the SAR, all classified as imported and not local contagions.

Citing specific data on the period where a positive nucleic acid test was obtained by arrivals under medical observation, Dr. Leong specific that 75 per cent that all positive cases were detected in the first three days, and about 16.8 per cent were detected between the 4th and 7th, some 6.4 per cent between the 8th and 10th days, with only 1.7 per cent detected between the 11th and 14th days.

This would indicate that only 0.1 per cent of all confirmed cases in the SAR have been detected after the 14th day of the quarantine, but with Dr. Lo not providing the specific number of cases or the last time any confirmed cases were registered after the 7th or 14th day.

A 21-day quarantine was requested in Macau for about two years since 2020, the longest in the world and mostly in tandem with the policies in Hong Kong.

However, after facing its worst pandemic outbreak, Hong Kong authorities in March reduced the quarantine period for passengers arriving from overseas countries from seven days to 14 days.

“There have also been cases detected on the 7th or 14th days, We are also analysing the current policies to study if we can reduce the quarantine. We know some neighbouring regions have done so and we are observing how the situation evolves there,” Dr. Leong noted.

“The incubation periods are changing so we are making an evaluation of the first stages of the pandemic and in the last six months. We are constantly re-evaluating the situation”