Macau shuts casinos and other businesses to contain COVID outbreak

People queue for COVID-19 testing in Macau, China, June 20, 2022. REUTERS/John Mak/File Photo/File Photo

HONG KONG, July 9 (Reuters) - Macau will shut almost all commercial and industrial businesses including its casinos for one week from Monday, as authorities race to curb a surge of COVID-19 infections in the world's biggest gambling hub.

Essential services including hotels, supermarkets and pharmacies will however remain open, city officials said as they announced the measures at a press conference on Saturday.

The announcement came as Macau reported 71 new COVID cases on Saturday, taking the total to 1,374 since mid-June. More than 17,000 people are in quarantine, authorities have said.

Local authorities have added two hotels in popular casino resorts to be used as COVID medical facilities from Friday as they try to increase capacity to handle the surge of infections. read more

More than 90% of Macau's residents are fully vaccinated against COVID but this is the first time the city has had to grapple with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

Reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by David Holmes

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