Ho Iat Seng
Chief Executive of Macau
- At the time of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus outbreak (in 2002-2003), we (Government of Macau) also did not prohibit the entry of people from Hong Kong and we refused to think of establishing a quota for entries from the neighboring Special Administrative Region for the time being (due to COVID-19 outbreak).
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "No reason to ban visitors from Wuhan, said Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng" on Macau News, 23 January 2020.
- Honestly, from the experience of SARS (in 2002-2003), if the (COVID-19 outbreak) situation is so serious, no one will go to a casino (in Macau)
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau casinos could be closed if risk of Wuhan virus rises: Ho Iat Seng" on Inside Asian Gaming, 23 January 2020.
- This is impossible (to impose entry limit to Mainland China people from entering Macau due to COVID-19 outbreak). So far, the World Health Organization has so far not given indications to impose entry restrictions so we can't block Wuhan residents from entering Macau. But we (Government of Macau) have requested for them to not travel to Macau, or only after the disease is contained.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "People from Wuhan will not be barred from entering Macau – Chief Executive" on Macau Business, 23 January 2020.
- We (Government of Macau) appeal to the public not to go out unless it's absolutely necessary. That's the best prevention (against the COVID-19). We had no choice but to cancel the (2020 Lunar) new year celebrations even when everything was ready.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau confirms second patient infected with Chinese coronavirus" on South China Morning Post, 23 January 2020.
- We (Government of Macau) don't know if this is the peak of the (COVID-19) disease. I think it could be only after Lunar New Year (CNY) because now people are moving a lot. If there is contagion it is now, during these travels, but maybe the most critical time could be registered after the CNY. That's why we took the hard decision to cancel CNY festivities, to prevent further aggravation of the disease.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Chief Executive advises residents to stay home during CNY or at least wear health masks outside" on Macau Business, 23 January 2020.
- When SARS hit (the Southern China region) 17 years ago (in 2002-2003), Macau was lucky enough that it recorded only one imported case. But now, the viral pneumonia coincides with the peak domestic travel season for Chinese New Year across China. That huge passenger traffic means the disease could be spread to each of the Chinese province.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau multi-stage response to pandemic risk: city chief" on GGR Asia, 23 January 2020.
- It was a hard decision (to close casinos in Macau for two weeks after a hotel worker was infected by COVID-19), but we (Government of Macau) must make it for the health of Macau residents. Macau can still withstand economic losses.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Coronavirus: casinos to close in Macau for at least two weeks after hotel worker infected" on South China Morning Post, 4 February 2020.
- So (due to COVID-19 outbreak and the closure of casinos) this year (2020)'s economy will be in the red for sure. Income in other sectors will be very little in terms of taxes, plus we (Government of Macau) are preparing for tax relief measures as support measure for people at this difficult time, and the forecast for the economy is that it will be in the red, so be prepared. No flower can bloom for a hundred days. It was necessary to prepare for adverse situations, and it was time to use the government's financial reserves to support the "fragile" economy.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Ho says decision to close casinos difficult but necessary" on Macau News, 5 February 2020.