Macau’s ‘Golden Week’ holiday period is usually known for attracting a large number of casino visitors, but this time the tally dropped by more than 93% year-on-year as the ‘delta variant’ of Covid-19 kept marauding the former Portuguese enclave.
As per stats released by the Public Security Police Force of Macau, only 1,166 people visited the former Portuguese enclave daily during the recently concluded ‘Golden Week’ holiday period. The figure represents a decline of 93.7 per cent from the corresponding one-week period of 2020.
After welcoming an average of 1,749 visitors on 1st of October, the gambling-friendly facilities in Macau received an average of merely 1,668 visitors for the subsequent three days. The number of visitors slipped further, bringing the tally down to just 669 visitors on 5th of October. Just a day later, the tally went from bad to worse by slipping to just 498 visitors.
Dr. Leong Iek Hou, who is serving as the Coordinator for the Novel Coronavirus Response & Coordination Centre, has proclaimed efforts were being made to learn how to co-exist with the potentially-lethal virus.
Speaking on the topic, Hou asserted, “In order to co-exist with the virus, we need to have a high inoculation rate. Many countries and regions that have adopted this policy already have vaccination rates above 80% or 90% or have most of their elderly population vaccinated.”
The ‘Golden Week’ public holiday, which is also known as ‘National Day,’ commemorates the establishment of the modern state of China. Usually, it attracts a large numbers of mainland tourists from mainland China, thanks to availability of plethora of entertainment and gambling facilities in the enclave. However, this year’s optimism was marred after two local residents were tested positive for the ‘delta variant’ of Covid-19.
Macau government reacted by introducing ‘immediate pandemic prevention’ measures and initiating a mass Covid-19 testing program. Although no new cases of the potentially-lethal infection were found, Hong Kong officials announced cancellation of their own Come2HK and Return2HK quarantine-free travel schemes. Mainland China reacted by reinstating a statute to oblige anyone returning from Macau to endure an obligatory two-week quarantine.
The casino industry of Macau is more than 100 years old. It enjoyed an unprecedented growth over the past decade, but it suffered a devastating jerk after the Covid-19 hit the world early last year, preventing tourists from visiting the only gambling-friendly locale in China.