A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on July 5, 2022. (HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP)
HONG KONG – The Macao authorities have added two hotels in popular casino resorts to be used as COVID-19 medical facilities from Friday as they try to ramp up capacity to handle a surge of infections in the world's biggest gambling hub.
The east wing of Grand Lisboa Palace owned by SJM Holdings and the Grand Hyatt hotel owned by Melco Resorts will together provide close to 800 rooms, they said.
READ MORE: Macao shuts popular shopping mall to contain COVID outbreak
Sands China's Sheraton hotel and Londoner resort have already been used as quarantine facilities.
The Macao authorities have set up a makeshift hospital in a sports dome and have around 600 medical workers from the mainland assisting them
The announcement comes as the special administrative region reported 128 new cases on Thursday, taking the total to 1,215 cases since mid-June. More than 15,000 people are in quarantine, according to authorities.
The same day, the Chinese mainland reported 47 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 17 each in Shanghai and Anhui. Also, 331 local asymptomatic carriers were identified in nine provincial-level regions, the National Health Commission said on Friday, adding that no new deaths from COVID-19 were recorded, with the total death toll standing at 5,226.
The Macao authorities have set up a makeshift hospital in a sports dome near the city's Las Vegas style Cotai strip and have around 600 medical workers from the mainland assisting them.
ALSO READ: Macao seals off landmark Lisboa hotel after COVID cases found
Residents thronged to food markets and grocery stores on Thursday, spooked that the city would be fully locked down.
The government denied the rumors and urged the public not to panic and hoard food, according to local broadcaster TDM.
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