The Government Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre medical assistant, Lei Wai Seng, said today that the drivers of the shuttle buses that regularly take tourists from the city’s borders to local integrated resorts are considered the workers with the highest risk of having contracted the novel coronavirus.
One of the 10 locally confirmed cases involved a 59-year-old shuttle bus driver from gaming operator SJM Holdings, which led authorities to define this labour group as the first high-risk group to be surveyed.
This has led health authorities to conduct tests to the driver regardless if they have shown no symptoms, with tests conducted to 103 drivers and test results expected in the next 24 hours.
According to Lei after shuttle bus drivers, public bus drivers, taxi drivers and casino and hotel workers were considered to be the most at-risk cases of contracting new pneumonia, due to the level of contact they have tourists hailing from mainland China.
Although a 15-day suspension on casino operations was enforced on February 5 and with about 23 hotel and pensions currently closed, shuttle buses still regularly carry people to the local hotel properties, albeit with reduced frequency.
This measure together with other measures to reduce as preventive measures, such as suspending travel tours and individual travel visas, were considered to have reduced the risk of contagion.