Gambling hub Macau mostly shut down to curb COVID

STORY: Long queues stretched across Macau this week, with citywide COVID-19 tests ordered and most of the world’s biggest gambling hub shut down.

Its more than 600,000 residents have to take three PCR tests this week, and at-home rapid tests in between.

While the former Portuguese colony has not introduced a full-scale lockdown seen in mainland Chinese cities like Shanghai, more than 13,000 people are now under quarantine in the city.

Only Macau's casinos have been allowed to stay open.

Though hardly any gamblers can be seen inside and very few staff are working.

As of Tuesday Macau had only logged more than 900 infections since mid-June.

While the numbers are still far below other places, Macau only has one public hospital, whose services were already stretched on a daily basis.

Officials have now put up a makeshift hospital next to the city's Las Vegas-style Cotai strip to help cope with the rise in cases.

Macau had stayed largely COVID-free since an outbreak in October 2021.

The city adheres to China's "zero-COVID" policy that aims to eradicate all outbreaks, at just about any cost, running counter to a global trend of trying to co-exist with the virus.