Taiwan yesterday confirmed one additional COVID-19 case, bringing the national total to 45, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.
The 45th patient is a woman in her 50s who had been hospitalized in the same ward as Taiwan’s 34th novel coronavirus patient, the CECC said.
She had not traveled abroad in the past few months. She was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 14 due to an unrelated ailment and spent time in the same ward as the other patient, although in a different room, before being discharged on Feb. 20, it said.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
The woman was found to have contracted the disease after health authorities on Sunday screened the people with whom the 34th patient might have come into contact with, it said.
She was confirmed as being infected following a second positive test on Thursday and was put in a negative-pressure isolation room, the CECC said.
Meanwhile, the CECC said that an Australian composer who tested positive for COVID-19 posed a low risk of community spread during his time in Taiwan from Feb. 23 to Monday.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo / EPA-EFE
The composer — who the CECC did not name — performed at the National Concert Hall in Taipei on Friday and Sunday last week.
Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed him as a new coronavirus case after he disembarked from EVA Air (長榮航空) Flight BR315, which departed from Taipei on Monday and landed in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also a CECC official, said that 147 people were identified as having come into contact with the composer in Taiwan, including 103 who have been ordered into home quarantine.
The 103 included 19 orchestra members, eight reporters, 17 hotel staff, 15 drivers, three personal acquaintances of the composer’s, and 12 crew and six passengers on the flight, he said.
Twenty-three people who attended the performances were on the home-quarantine list, too, as they sat within 2m of the composer, according to video footage, he said.
Other audience members are advised to closely monitor their health and seek medical attention if any symptoms occur, he said.
Not being able to reach the composer, the CECC could not confirm whether he had worn a mask on the flight, but he had spent most of his time in Taiwan not wearing one, Chuang said.
The composer’s schedule here was business-related for the most part, including rehearsals from Tuesday to Thursday last week, followed by the two performance days, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.
Apart from consulting a doctor on Thursday last week, the composer mostly traveled between the hotel and the performance venue, Chen said.
Those who drove him have been ordered into home quarantine after being identified via video footage, Chen said, adding that the composer did not use public transportation.
The composer departed the UK and transited in Bangkok before arriving in Taiwan, where officials collected his details after he reported having a cough, but entry was approved as he exhibited no symptoms.
With many people who attended the performances being teachers, they are advised not to return to work immediately, but to monitor their health at home, Chen said.
In other developments, the CECC yesterday said that 19 Taiwanese evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan would be discharged from quarantine today.
The move comes after none of them were confirmed as having contracted COVID-19 after a third round of testing, it said.
The previous two rounds of testing, which also came back negative, were conducted immediately after their return aboard a charter flight from Tokyo on Feb. 21.
They were put in isolation in separate rooms at a quarantine center.
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