Macau is in Lockdown for the first time since the start of the Pandemic
Macau has been under its first lockdown since the start of the pandemic on Monday to stop the worst wave of the coronavirus so far, AFP and Reuters reported. The measure was introduced for a week by authorities in the Chinese special administrative region after more than 1,500 cases of the coronavirus were detected in the past three weeks despite widespread testing.
Casinos in Macau are closed. As a result, shares of the six leading groups in the gambling sector lost between 6 and 9 percent of their value in early trading on Monday. The lockdown ends the agreement between local governments and casinos. It stipulated that only those casinos where cases of COVID-19 were detected would be closed.
Macau is the only Chinese city where casinos are allowed to operate. However, the pandemic has hit the region hard, which has adopted a "zero covid" strategy similar to that implemented by Beijing. As of Monday, local residents are only allowed to leave their homes to buy essential items and get tested. Violators can be punished with up to two years in prison.
Some public services and shops, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, continue to operate. Only people holding a special permit or a "green code" indicating that they do not pose a serious threat to public health will be allowed to use public transport. China uses mobile apps to track people's movements and outbreaks, AFP notes.
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