Press association dissatisfied with poor translations in Health Bureau pneumonia press conferences

The Macau Portuguese and English Press Association (AIPIM) today issued a statement in which it expresses ‘dissatisfaction’ over the quality of the Health Bureau’s translation and interpretation services to Portuguese media members during press conferences related to the new coronavirus outbreak.  

‘It is a matter of the utmost importance and seriousness, which should be dealt with extreme care and accuracy. AIPIM is calling on the Health Bureau to improve significantly the translation and interpretation services to allow Portuguese-speaking journalists to fulfil their duty,’ the statement indicated.

As defined in the local legislation, Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages of Macau, with translation having to be offered in government events, however, the quality of translations in the now daily Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre press conferences at 5:00pm to update the status of the outbreak in the city has raised concerns from Portuguese-speaking reporters that crucial information could be provided incorrectly.

AIPIM also noted the issue is a ‘recurrent problem’ when it comes to the Health Bureau press conferences, with the association having already sent a letter to its Director, Lei Chin Ion, in June of last year.

Macau authorities today identified a second person infected with the new type of coronavirus, a 66-year-old man, who, like the first case, a 52-year-old woman, is also from Wuhan.

Currently, in isolation, both cases are considered high-risk patients.

The outbreak comes at a time when millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year, the main celebration of Chinese families, equivalent to Christmas in Western countries.