Macao locks down some buildings as COVID-19 infections creep up

Authorities in Macao have locked down several residential buildings as the world’s biggest gambling hub tries to contain a rising number of COVID-19 cases that have ground the city to a halt, apart from casinos which mostly remain open.

The former Portuguese colony reported 39 new infections on Friday (Jun 24), bringing the total for its current outbreak to 149, with around a dozen buildings locked down and residents banned from leaving, the local government said in a statement.

More than 5,000 people are in mandatory quarantine, the government said.

Macao, a Chinese special administrative region, is testing its more than 600,000 residents for the coronavirus for a second time this week. Testing is due to finish on Friday.

A makeshift hospital, located next to Macao’s Las Vegas modelled Cotai Strip, is also expected to open on Friday.

Macao shut down most of its city, including bars, cinemas, hair salons and outdoor parks on Thursday. Only takeaway is allowed from dining facilities.

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