Macau, known as the world’s gambling capital, is finally set to re-open its 41 casinos to the public this coming midnight of February 20th. Health officials announced that the shutdown would not be extended beyond the initial 15-day period with the casinos having the option to apply for a 30-day extension in preparation for the intended re-opening. Nonetheless, all casinos will be required to return to business operations at the end of the 30 days.
Following news of the outbreak, the Coronavirus or Covid-19 is a new strain within a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Although the origin of the said virus is still under investigation, reports show that it has hit China tremendously resulting in over 70 thousand confirmed infections at present.
Earlier this month, authorities imposed a 15-day suspension to protect the health of Macau’s residents, as said by Ho Iat Seng, the chief executive of the semi autonomous Chinese territory.
Reports showed that 10 people in Macau had been infected by the flu-like illness, including a hotel employee at Galaxy Casino, one of the main casinos in the gambling hub. In light of the situation, officials said that Macau has not reported any new cases of the virus since February 4.
Operators, however, will still be required to practice preventive measures such as maintaining certain spacing between gaming tables, wearing of face masks by staff members, temperature checks on all personnel and customers and so on. Non-resident workers returning to Macau from the mainland will also be quarantined for 14 days before being allowed entry into the territory.