'Public views mixed' as Macau testing ends - RTHK
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'Public views mixed' as Macau testing ends

2022-06-21 HKT 09:58
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  • Macau officials have moved to offer support to businesses and individuals affected by the Covid testing exercise. File image: Shutterstock
    Macau officials have moved to offer support to businesses and individuals affected by the Covid testing exercise. File image: Shutterstock
A three-day citywide Covid testing exercise in Macau was coming to an end on Tuesday, with authorities keen to prevent a wider outbreak after reporting dozens of coronavirus infections at the weekend.

Officials in the territory earlier announced a funding package worth 10 billion patacas to help businesses and individuals hit by the mandatory testing exercise, which began on Sunday and saw schools closed and members of the public advised not to go to work. Tests were due to be completed by noon on Tuesday.

Speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme on Tuesday morning, former Macau legislator Agnes Lam said there were mixed views about the push to stem the outbreak.

"When the government announced that there's more cases and we need to do the tests, everyone's response is: okay, we can't really afford that any more, so people were unhappy" she told RTHK's Samantha Butler.

"So that's also the reason, I guess, that the government announced 10 billion [patacas] of business support schemes yesterday, and saying that they're going to help businesses to go through all of this," added Lam, an associate professor at the University of Macau.

On Monday, Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng said that the outbreak came suddenly, had been spreading rapidly and that the source was still unknown.

As of Monday evening, officials had tested almost 460,000 of Macau's 600,000 residents. Some 270,000 tests had come back negative. Officials said 36 people had so far been confirmed to have the virus.