Ho Iat Seng, the Chief Executive of Macau, said that the possibility of closing casinos is on the table. The same option is, of course, related to the Wuhan virus. The measure would be temporary but it should help in stopping the spread of the virus. He made this statement at the press conference that was about to the virus. There, the same issue came about.
Seng also pointed out an obvious truth. In his words, if the situation becomes as serious as that of SARS in 2002, there will be no one wanting to visit a casino. But, Seng did not leave everything to the future potential measures. Instead, he did what many feared in the casino industry and canceled official Chinese New Year celebrations.
This is a measure that is looking to reduce the risk of virus propagation in the territory. The same is also a big and important decision for the region and the entire world. As a hub of tourists and gamblers, a bigger Macau outbreak could propagate the spread of the global pandemic. This fact that the first official case of the virus already appeared in the city makes this an even more pressing matter.
Lack of New Year Celebrations
The government of Macau decided to cancel a whole range of New Year Celebration activities. These cover the traditional parade followed with a fireworks display. The official suggestion to the population and businesses is to avoid any private gatherings and functions. SJM Holdings was among the first to take on these measures. Its Lunar New Year’s Gala Dinner is now officials off the roster as well.
These measures might be drastic, but the stream of news related to the virus is also worrying. Besides the growing epidemic in mainland China, the issues in Macau are on the rise as well. A second tourist with the virus appeared recently there. This 66-year-old visitor is now in quarantine after the border guards detected a fever. So far, medical services are keeping 10 individuals are under medical observation in the territory. All of them are could be carrying the virus.
In the casino industry, all employees have to wear masks. Furthermore, the casino security details are also creating thorough sweeps of both employees and guests. For now, the temperature scans on entrances serve this purpose. However, if the outbreak escalates, chances are that these entrances will all be closed soon after.
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