Macau confirms fifth case of coronavirus; bans recent Hubei visitors from casinos

On Sunday, Macau confirmed three additional cases of the novel coronavirus bringing the total to five.

And effective Monday, visitors to Macau who have been in Hubei province, where the virus-originating city of Wuhan is located, within the previous 14 days are no longer allowed inside Macau casinos. In addition, they will be barred entry at the border without a certificate recognizing they are free of the virus.

Hubei itself has 58.5 million residents and accounts for approximately 2% of Macau visitors. However, Wuhan is a major city and airline hub so the number that have been there in the past 14 days is far greater.

The new measures were announced at a press conference on Sunday held by the Government’s Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre, a newly formed organization to help limit the disease’s spread in Macau.

Macau emphasized that all cases so far have been imported. All five cases have been from visitors who had been in Wuhan with no cases originating within Macau’s borders.

Macau now has the monumental task of individually contacting 1,113 tourists visiting from Hubei province who are still in Macau.

Monday morning, the Chinese government confirmed the total number of cases of the virus informally known as Wuhan pneumonia were over 2,700 and 81 had died.

In wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus, initial Golden Week visitation plummeted by nearly 80% compared to last year on the third day of the holiday, according to figures released by the Macao Government Tourism Office.