The first case of coronavirus has been reported in China’s gaming hub, Macau, according to a report by Casino.org. The respiratory illness was first reported on China’s mainland towards the end of last year. Since then, Macau had somehow managed to stay free of the disease. But it seems the gaming hub has run out of luck.
The 52 year old woman, whose name has not yet been revealed, was in Macau for business. She says she is originally from Hubei in Wuhan, an area that has been most affected by the coronavirus. 440 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the area and unfortunately 9 of them have succumbed so far. According to the sources including one article that now appears on casino.org, the woman travelled by train from Wuhan to Zhuhai.
Despite the quarantine that had been instituted in Macau, the woman managed to sneak into the City through the border gate that links Macau to Zhuhai City in Guangdong province. On arrival, she checked herself into the New Orient Landmark Hotel, according to news by The South China Morning Post.
A few days later, she checked herself into a local hospital, complaining of a cough. She told the doctors that she had been feeling unwell for about a week now and that this was not the case before. According to the medics however, she has been classified as a super spreader, as the officials do not believe she has the ability to spread the virus.
The coronavirus report has sent gaming operators setting up all kinds of precautionary measures to protect its staff and guests. The efforts are both clinically and evidence based and believed if observed may help. That is, anyone entering the gaming venues has to pass through a temperature screening device and the staffers have to put on surgical masks.
Authorities in the gaming hub have warned its citizens against travelling to Wuhan, though no bans have been issued. However, the hotel where the woman was staying is still open.
This outbreak is not the first of its kind in China. In 2003, there was a SARS epidemic that killed almost 300 people in Hong Kong. Officials have assured that this outbreak is not as bad as the one in 2003. So far, there have been two cases of coronavirus in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan.
The biological disaster could not have come at a worse time. First, there are New Year celebrations that are expected to kick off on 25th January. The New Year festivities were expected to bring some relief to the gaming industry of Macau, which has had a tough 2019.
Analysts had expected the gaming industry would receive some boost in 2020 and there were rumors that this arrangement was already underway. However, the coronavirus outbreak could scare off travellers planning to come to Macau, affecting business adversely. A gaming expert asserted that if it is only one case of coronavirus, the effect would be minor. However, the effect would be immense if more cases are reported.