Coronavirus Shuts Down Macau Casinos
China continues to fight the spread of the coronavirus, and the gambling mecca of Macau is now a major battleground. So far, the autonomous region has had 10 confirmed cases of the illness. In order to prevent more, the casino industry of Macau will close for two weeks.
On Tuesday, chief executive Ho Iat Seng announced the closure of all Macau casinos for two weeks. In addition, public transport and services will be scaled back.
Ho referred to this period as a “critical time.” He urged citizens to stay home and only venture out if they needed food.
Impact of the Coronavirus
Over 31,000 people have been infected with this strain of coronavirus, and a reported 638 have died. Of course, the Chinese media isn’t always reliable, so those numbers may be much higher.
Despite China’s Lunar New Year holiday, tourists have been noticeably absent. The number of casino patrons has dropped by 80% in the last week, and gaming revenue is down 11.3% from last year.
Last week, a policy was implemented that required all casino guests and employees to wear surgical masks. Temperature checks were also conducted at more than 47 employee and 405 public entrances.
However, the government didn’t feel these steps were enough. Given the number of foreign tourists, the danger of spreading the infection to other nations was simply deemed too high.
The impact of the 2019-nCoV (aka “novel coronavirus”) varies from person to person. Some have little to no symptoms, while others wind up dying. Symptoms can appear within two days of exposure, but they may take as long as two weeks to manifest.
Regardless of severity and time, the most common symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
Coronaviruses are similar to the common cold in that they cause illnesses in the upper-respiratory tract ranging from mild to moderate. However, they can also cause lower-respiratory illnesses like those associated with bronchitis and pneumonia.
Most people are exposed to some form of coronavirus during their lives. If infected, a person is usually only sick for a short period of time.
The most common forms of the coronavirus are designated as NL63, 229E, HKU1 and OC43. The most common symptoms of these viruses include:
- General feeling of being unwell
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
The Worst Forms of Coronavirus
There are two forms of coronavirus that tend to produce more severe illnesses. These are known as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
SARS disappeared in 2004. However, prior to that time it caused fever, chills and body aches. It would frequently progress into pneumonia.
MERS is still around, mainly on the Arabian Peninsula. It includes shortness of breath, fever and cough. It often turns into pneumonia, and it has killed around 30% to 40% of those infected.
Facts about the Coronavirus Outbreak
Here are some interesting facts about the recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus:
- Men are at a greater risk for the illness. The same also applies to the elderly and those with conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
- The virus is informally known as the “Wuhan coronavirus” due to Wuhan being the location of the first known outbreak.
- The first known human infection occurred in early December 2019. It became a global health emergency on January 30th, 2020.
- 96.9% of the reported deaths have been in the Hubei province.
- The virus spreads through close contact such as coughs and sneezes.
- The virus has several informal names. However, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses plans to introduce an official name in the second week of February.
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