The Philippines gaming regulator, PAGCOR, has told POGOs to put employees, flying back from a list of countries where the coronavirus has been confirmed, under a 10-day quarantine.
POGOs to Put Employees Under Quarantine as Fears of Coronavirus Mount
Fearing coronavirus infection, PAGCOR, the Philippines gaming regulator, has issued a memorandum to all Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGOs), requesting immediate quarantine for employees who have returned from countries where cases of infected people have been confirmed.
PAGCOR predicts a ten-day quarantine period for any employee who has flown in from any of the 15 countries where the virus has benn confirmed, including neighbors such as Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, and China.
A number of western countries have also been infected, to name the United States, Canada and France. Cases have similarly been reported in Korea and Japan, Singapore, and others.
Chinese Citizens Under Strict Supervision, PAGCOR Says
Incoming Chinese citizens who work in POGOs will have to exercise “extreme caution” in how they interact with the general population. Furthermore, employees have been advised to vet employees before bringing them to the Philippines for work.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has not raised the status of emergency on corona virus, declaring a pandemic, the Philippines has decided to step up its efforts in containing the potential ramifications of the coronavirus should it reach the country, the official statement read.
Philippine officials explained that while the measures were necessary, they didn’t constitute a ban on Chinese nationals entering the country. Furthermore, officials urged Chinese citizens to comply with regulations issued by Beijing in order to prevent the potential spread of the disease to other countries and among the general population.
Nevertheless, the Bureau of Immigration has suspended the process of issuing VUAs, or visa-upon-arrival, in a bid to keep more people from coming unless circumstances necessitate. Philippines officials reminded citizens to stay calm and only trust official sources, as misleading news about the coronavirus have been proliferating.
Gaming Revenue Already Takes a Tumble
Apart from putting people in danger, the coronavirus has been bad for business, too. China has extended a lottery shutdown by additional 10 days as the country’s health authorities have quarantined 50 million people and they continue to try and contain the disease.
As a result, the Chinese lottery won’t reopen until February 9 in the very least, providing that the disease has been dealt with. Traffic to Macau has felt rapidly, with casinos registering 60% fewer visitors in general and 80% fewer patrons from China in general.
Overseas brands have also been affected negatively by the latest developments, with their share values tumbling between $3 and $10 on average. The virus will take a toll on this year’s casino performance in Macau, as the special administrative area already posted a subdued 2019, registering 3.4% year-over-year (YOY) slide.
The coronavirus has already claimed 130 lives and the number of infected is at least 4,500. Beijing has reassured that the majority of infected people would be able to recuperate within a week or two.
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