Physicians have praised the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), saying that its careful screening led to the detection of the first death from COVID-19 in Taiwan.
The center on Sunday announced that the nation’s 19th confirmed case and the first death was a 61-year-old Taiwanese who tested positive for COVID-19 after he had been hospitalized for suspected serious flu complications, including pneumonia.
The man began coughing on Jan. 27 and was hospitalized with difficulty breathing on Feb. 3, but he was not reported as a suspected case at the time because he had not traveled overseas.
He died of pneumonia and sepsis on Saturday.
The test for COVID-19 was reported as positive on Saturday. The center had expanded its screening measures on Wednesday to include tracing cases of serious flu complications with pneumonia that had tested negative for flu since Jan. 31.
Among 113 such cases, the man’s was the only one to test positive for COVID-19.
The man’s 51-year-old brother also tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the nation’s 20th confirmed case. He has not experienced symptoms.
“God bless Taiwan,” Tsai Hsien-lung (蔡賢龍), an attending physician at Cheng Hsin General Hospital’s department of emergency medicine, wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
“Although shocked [at the result], I am moved by how the 19th case was found by tracing and exhaustive screening,” Tsai wrote.
“The 20th case was also found through the careful procedure,” he wrote.
“Thank God someone launched the screening procedure and tested the additional cases,” he wrote.
Tan Che-kim (陳志金), a physician at Chi Mei Foundation Medical Center, wrote on Facebook that the 19th case was found because the center took the initiative to expand its screening measures, which Tan said was a job well done.
As there is the possibility of local transmission, people should take protective measures, such as avoiding unnecessary visits to crowded places and hospitals, washing their hands frequently and paying attention to the center’s advice on when to wear a mask, the CECC said.
Former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀), an obstetrician and gynecologist, praised the center on Facebook.
“It is really impressive how the CECC traced cases and tested for COVID-19 in scenarios that did not match the criteria for mandatory report at the time of diagnosis,” Lin wrote. “The infected patients and people who had close contact with them would not have been found if it had not acted.”
“I truly believe the performance of Taiwan’s CECC so far must be the best in the world,” she wrote.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that the CECC noticed that Singapore and the US had expanded their testing to include more suspected cases, and one confirmed death in Japan did not have travel or exposure history.
Based on these observations, the CECC traced and screened the 113 cases, Chuang said.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,