A hotel complex with a casino located in Macau, the "world gambling capital", was quarantined today by the authorities with 700 people inside due to the appearance of a coronavirus case on its premises, local television network TDM reported. .
Lockdown was imposed as the Chinese self-governing province conducted massive two-day diagnostic tests on its population of more than 600.000, following the outbreak of dozens of coronavirus cases due to transmission to the community and recorded on Saturday.
Visual material that came into the possession of the television network shows police officers in protective uniforms sealing the complex to prevent customers from leaving or entering its premises.
Government officials are also preparing diagnostic tests for the hundreds who are there.
Located on the central Macao Peninsula, Fortuna is an old tourist complex operated by SJM Holdings.
The manager of his casino is local businessman Sio Tak Hong, who was arrested last year on charges of corruption and money laundering.
The hotel and the government were not immediately available for comment.
The previous coronavirus outbreak in Macau was last October and the city had not been put on an extensive lockdown.
Dozens of cases have been reported since the weekend, but currently far fewer than the daily cases reported in neighboring areas, including Hong Kong where the number of cases has exceeded 1.000 in recent days.
The former Portuguese colony, which took over China in 1999 as a special administrative district, follows the Chinese "zero-case" policy, which aims to eliminate all outbreaks of the pandemic in any way, a policy contrary to that of most countries. try to coexist with the virus.
Most residents are required to stay indoors, restaurants do not serve customers and border restrictions have been tightened, meaning casino revenue is likely to be zero for at least a week and possibly weeks, according to analysts.
This year, Hong Kong recorded more than one million confirmed cases and more than 9.000 deaths, burdening hospitals and public services.
Officials there say they are unlikely to further tighten restrictions as pressure on medical services has not increased.
Macau has only one public hospital with its services already under pressure on a daily basis. Macao authorities plan to put the entire population to a diagnostic test as they keep open the border with mainland China with many residents living and working in the neighboring Chinese city of Zhuhai.