Seven people holding Portuguese passports are among thousands of passengers currently held in ‘coronavirus quarantine’ on cruise-ships in the ports of Hong Kong and Yokohama, Japan.
The news specifically stresses ‘passports’, meaning the seven may not in fact be Portuguese in origin.
Nonetheless, their ‘dream trips’ on luxury boats with multiple destinations have ended up going nowhere in enforced incarceration as authorities do everything they can to stop the spread of the virus that has now killed over 560 people worldwide.
With new cases seemingly being reported outside of China by the day, national media stresses the numbers of Portuguese resident in Hong Kong and Macau.
Says Diário de Notícias roughly 170,000 Portuguese are registered as living in the territories, of which between 6000-7000 will be ‘expatriates’ (meaning of Portuguese origin).
Meantime, the leader of the Chinese community in Portugal continues to press the message that there is nothing to fear from local Chinese businesses or restaurants.
Y Ping Chow has actually invited the secretary of state for migrations Cláudia Pereira to lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
He believes her acceptance would should “good will and government confidence (in the Chinese community)”
Y Ping Chow did stress that he cannot understand Portugal’s reluctance to impose mandatory quarantine on anyone flying into the country from China. He said his community’s message to nationals arriving from China is to go into voluntary 14-day quarantine “to protect the world”.
Today (Thursday) has been a ‘positive day’ for Portugal in this developing drama in that new cases flagged as being possible infections have turned out to be false alarms.
This far, Portugal remains one of the countries that have side-stepped the virus.
This hasn’t stopped ‘experts’ however from sounding warnings.
In an article published today in the scientific magazine of the doctor’s association, specialists refer to a ‘lack of preparation’ witnessed in the first suspected case here, and concerns that Portugal may not be quick enough to learn from mistakes.