If the cases of the Wuhan coronavirus escalate, Macau is ready to put a stop to its casino operations in an effort to protect its workers and visitors. This is a result of a rather recent law that allows the government to shut down casinos in “exceptional circumstances,” including events like natural disasters or a health crisis.

This isn’t very far from happening, as the government has already ordered casino workers to wear masks and canceled Chinese New Year celebrations and events planned for the period between January 25th and February 8th. Concerns that the outbreak could reach massive groups of people and spread faster have led to the announcement – and authorities are ready to take things a step further now that a second case of the virus has been confirmed on the island.

The Current State of Affairs

The Chinese National Health Commission confirmed the existence of the virus in January. So far, 2,794 confirmed cases have been reported in mainland China, with 80 confirmed casualties. Although the first case was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31st, China had been dealing with cases since December 8th but had kept it a secret.
The coronavirus normally causes upper respiratory infections that, although not treatable, are mild and resolve on their own. Some strains can cause more serious issues – and the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak falls into the latter category. Although the initial symptoms are flu-like and include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, the virus can also lead to severe infection that can cause pneumonia and kidney failure. No treatment is currently available.

The government is closely monitoring the issue in Macau to take further action and close casinos – which would slow down or even stop Chinese visitors— if necessary.

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