In the Asian gambling capital Macau, visitor numbers have significantly dropped according to the latest reports due to growing Wuhan coronavirus fears. As reported on the 31st of January, Macau visitor numbers dropped by around 80% in only seven days from the latest report which revealed that visitor numbers have plummeted by around 50%.
All in all, this is a massive decline when compared to the same period last year and the only thing to blame is the highly-infectious coronavirus which first appeared in the city of Wuhan in December last year. According to one report released by Inside Asian Gaming, the examined seven-day period is usually one of the most profitable and most lucrative for this Asian gambling capital as visitors from all over the continent come to many Macau casinos to celebrate Chinese New Year. However, the situation is much different this year.
The Macao Government Tourism Office’s Official Figures
Just recently, the Macao Government Tourism Office has released official figures regarding visitors for the seven-day period which showed that Macau welcomed just 261,069 foreign visitors and holidaymakers since the 24th of January. This figure represents a massive 78.3% decline in visitor numbers when compared with 2019’s figures for the same period which showed that Macau welcomed over 1,2 million foreign visitors.
At the same time, local officials in Macau have instituted more measures to fight the spread of the highly-infectious coronavirus which so far has infected over 17,000 individuals globally and caused over 300 deaths. Unfortunately, these numbers are growing rapidly.
According to the latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019 coronavirus or 2019-nCoV has spread outside of China across twenty-three countries including Nepal, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Australia, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, the USA, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and Russian Federation.
Since the virus is highly-infections, local authorities in Macau have instituted a number of protective measures to help insulate the area from the virus outbreak. One of those measures requires staff working at every of Macau’s over forty casinos to wear protective gear such as protective face masks. Moreover, all visitors at such venues are also required to fill out health declaration forms upon entering facilities. Another measure requires installing body temperature monitors at casinos, as well as public spaces such as bus and taxi stops.
Global Emergency Declared by the WHO
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming, 57,838 foreign visitors had entered the former Portuguese enclave back on Saturday. Even though this figure, in particular, had plummeted to just 17,865, the one-week-long tally for visitors from mainland China had decreased by around 83.3% to 149,244 visitors.
Causing symptoms very similar to pneumonia including coughs and high fever, the coronavirus was first recorded in the city of Wuhan back in early December last year. As previously mentioned, so far it has been contracted by over 17,000 individuals in China and over twenty other countries. The spread of this potentially very deadly strain known as 2019-nCoV led the WHO to declare a serious global emergence. This news came shortly after the United States Department of State had released an advisory warning which recommends the USA residents not to travel to China. Following this step, many other countries had issued the same warning for their citizens.