Macao Tourism cancels all Chinese New Year events over deadly virus scare
Macao cancels Golden Dragon Parade, float parade and firework display
Macao Government Tourism Offices, at the press conference held yesterday, announced cancellation of all its Chinese New Year (CNY) celebratory events namely the Golden Dragon Parade, a float parade and a firework display, with the aim of minimizing the possibility of people becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, colloquially known as Wuhan virus, considering that Macao has already recorded two imported case and the virus is spreading on the mainland. Addressing the media, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said that after attending yesterday morning’s ceremony in Wanzai marking the resumption of the Macao-Wanzai ferry service, he, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak and Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário held a meeting with top Zhuhai officials, where the two governments decided to jointly implement a new travelers’ body temperature monitoring measure at checkpoints on both sides of the border. The government has also urged city’s community associations to postpone their CNY banquets. Ho noted that the CNY celebratory events and community associations’ CNY banquets usually attract a large number of people in a relatively small space. However, the government will keep the traditional CNY activity of people letting off firecrackers or fireworks in officially designated areas, as it is not an activity that many people go to watch and only those who let off firecrackers or fireworks will go there. Ho said the government believes that it is feasible to keep the traditional activity provided that disease-control measures are well implemented. There are two designated areas for the selling and letting-off of firecrackers and fireworks during the CNY period every year – an area in the Zone B reclamation area near Macau Tower, and the reclamation area in front of Estrada Almirante Marques Esparteiro on the northern waterfront of Taipa. This year, the two areas will open today (Chinese New Year’s Eve) and close on Wednesday night (the fifth day of the Chinese New Year). In association with the MGTO, Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert and head of a high-level team of the National Health Commission (NHC), advised the citizen to tackle the Wuhan virus by wearing the face masks correctly and that staying at home was the safest way of preventing infection. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng paid an inspection visit to the Barrier Gate checkpoint last night where he was briefed about the local authorities’ anti-Wuhan virus measures.