Macau will extend its lockdown imposed since last Monday till Friday as authorities grapple with rising Covid-19 infections in the world’s biggest gambling hub.
The lockdown in the special administrative region was due to end on Monday.
Since last Monday, Macau shuttered the city’s economic engine – its casinos – and forbade residents from leaving apartments, except for essential activities.
Macau has recorded around 1,700 Covid infections since mid-June.
More than 20,000 people are in mandatory quarantine as the government adheres to China’s zero-Covid policy.
More than 90% of Macau’s 600,000 residents are fully vaccinated but this is the first time the city has had to grapple with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
The former Portuguese colony has only one public hospital, and its medical system was already stretched before the coronavirus outbreak.
Authorities have set up a makeshift hospital in a sports dome near the city’s Las Vegas-style Cotai strip and have around 600 medical workers assisting them.
Neighbouring Hong Kong is starting to loosen draconian restrictions even as daily cases top 3,000, in a push to reboot the financial hub.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard