Streets in Macao's gambling hub are deserted after the majority of companies, including casinos, were told to close as the Chinese colony near Hong Kong battles a coronavirus outbreak.
(AP) BEIJING — As Macao, a Chinese colony bordering Hong Kong, battles a coronavirus outbreak, casinos and the majority of other businesses were ordered to close, leaving the streets deserted on Monday.
Except when purchasing food or other necessities, residents were instructed to stay inside. Authorities issued a warning that anyone breaking the regulations would face consequences.
As the number of coronavirus cases in the 700,000-person area increased over the weekend, casinos were instructed to close for at least a week. The government announced 59 more cases on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the most recent outbreak to 1,526.
Macao and Hong Kong are copying the "zero COVID" policy of the mainland, which attempts to isolate every infected person.
According to a local who asked to only be known by his last name, Kong, the public must register for passes to ride buses and other forms of public transportation, which are currently operating at a reduced capacity.
Because it will cause more inconvenience, I don't think this measure is necessary, Kong stated.
The economic backbone of Macao is casino gambling, but anti-virus travel restrictions have destroyed this industry.
Casinos were officially closed this week for the first time since the pandemic's early 2020 start, demonstrating the government's desperation in managing the most recent epidemic. Their June restrictions reduced their personnel to 10% of pre-restrictions levels.
The government claims that during the next week, it will test every person in the city for the virus. People who deliver meals, bus drivers, and some others were instructed to submit to daily testing.
Karmen Li, a news assistant for the Associated Press in Hong Kong, contributed to this story.
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