Resort facilities

Grand Lisboa Palace and Grand Hyatt Macau to operate as medical facilities amid Covid-19 outbreak

Due to an increase in Covid cases at the largest gaming center in the world, Macau authorities have assigned two hotels at casino resorts to medical facilities. The east wing of SJM-Holdingit is Greater Lisbon Palaceand the Grand Hyatt Hotelproperty of Melco Hotels, will together provide approximately 800 rooms for this purpose.

“During this period, Grand Lisboa Palace will strictly adhere to the latest government advice and risk management protocols regarding the well-being of all frontline staff,” officials said.. “We will constantly update and communicate with the authorities and take all possible measures to protect the health and safety of its guests and employees.”

The two hotels join Sands Chinait is Sheraton Hotel and The Londoner seaside resort, which have previously been used as quarantine facilities. The announcement comes after the city recorded 88 cases on Friday, bringing the total to 1,303 cases since mid-June. Recently, authorities informed that more than 17,000 people are under quarantine and 22 residential buildings have been locked down.

Grand Lisboa’s assignment as a medical facility comes after the hotel closed with more than 500 people inside for at least five days as authorities found 13 infections linked to the station. Officials also locked down three floors of the Shoppes at Four Seasons, a mall at Plaza Macao of Sands China, after the discovery of another cluster.

In addition, the authorities are in the process of implementing the sixth round of city-wide mass testing. Macau has only one public hospital for over 600,000 people. According Reuters, the city’s medical system was already strained before the coronavirus outbreak. To meet the growing medical demand, authorities set up a makeshift hospital in a sports dome near the Las Vegas-style Cotai Strip and have about 600 mainland medical workers assisting them.

More than 90 percent of Macau residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but this is the first time the city has grappled with the fast-spreading variant of the Omicron coronavirus. Macao adheres to China’s “zero-COVID” policy which aims to curb all epidemics.

Although the government has not imposed strict lockdowns like those seen in mainland China, city ​​facilities are closed and residents have been asked to stay home while restaurants operate with delivery only. Public transport has also been restricted.

The lockdown has sparked concern among residents who flooded food markets and grocery stores on Thursday, fearing the city was in complete lockdown. However, the government denied the allegations and urged residents to remain calm and not hoard food, as reported by Reuters.

However, frustration grows in the cityas some residents report queuing for more than 20 hours to access health facilities, and many are desperate to return to work.

Casinos are allowed to stay open to protect jobs, but executives said it didn’t make sense to have staff on hand despite the lack of activity. The gaming industry represents over 80% of government revenue with most people employed directly or indirectly by casino resorts.