On January 6 the Macau Casino Regulator made a public statement saying that plans were underway to issue all casinos in Macau with new screening equipment. The regulatory board is working hand in hand with the local Health Bureau to ensure that every casino installs overhead temperature screening equipment.
This announcement comes days after the health alert level in Macau was raised to serious on January 5. In the past few days, there has been a growing concern over the efficiency of casinos in safeguarding its customers’ health. This was after several people were treated with an unidentified form of viral pneumonia.
The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau issued a statement in relation to the current turn of events. They explained that the health alert level was raised after there were reports of several people suffering from an unknown form of viral pneumonia. An article on the calvinayre.com particularly mentions that all the reported cases were linked to Wuhan City, located on the mainland of China. Wuhan is a large city in the Hubei province and has direct air services to Macau, something that has given it numerous economic advantages and reported by various other major outlets.
To date, the six casinos in Macau have been using hand scanners to check the temperature of those entering their premises, staff included but excluding the top-ranked directors of the company. The efficiency of these devices is now in high doubt, hence the decision to fit every casino with overhead temperature screening devices. What however seems to raise some notable public concern is whether the rays in the proposed devices a completely safe for regular human use.
According to the regulator, the new devices, together with other preventive measures that are being instituted, are expected to help in the detection of anyone who has contracted an infectious disease. They hope this will help relive the staff and patrons off some of the anxiety.
In recent years, Macau has become a major tourist destination especially for those from the mainland, Wuhan included. Already there are concerns that the pneumonia reports could affect business in Macau. Most of the staff, especially on the mainland have been affected by the highly contagious disease.
Since the beginning of the year, already five pneumonia cases have been reported in the city. The sick complain of very high fevers and difficulty in breathing. What is more convincing is that the five reported having visited Wuhan City two weeks before coming to Macau.
A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed there have been a total of 59 cases of serious identified illness in the past month.
However, in a statement to the press, the Chinese authorities have denied that it is not pneumonia. They also told WHO that the illness was not any of the common communicable diseases; – influenza, avian flu, adenovirus, SARS or MERS.
Despite this, the officials in Macau have vowed not to back down on the attempt to protect its customers.