More than 100 people who had close contact with a Japanese student who tested positive for COVID-19 on her arrival in Japan from Taiwan are to have their blood tested to see if they have developed antibodies for the virus, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, after all of them tested negative for the virus.
The student arrived in late February to attend classes in southern Taiwan. She tested positive for the virus upon arrival at Narita Airport on Saturday last week.
The case was reported by the center on Wednesday.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
As the source of her infection is not clear, the CECC has not given the case a number.
The 123 people who had close contact with the woman, including teachers and former roommates, have been ordered to isolate at home.
On Monday, the center is to conduct blood tests on the 123 people to see whether they have been infected, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a news conference in Taipei.
A polymerase chain reaction test in Japan showed that the woman’s cycle threshold (CT) reading was between 37 and 38, which is considered “slightly positive” by Taiwan’s standards, Chuang said.
Scientists have yet to arrive at a consensus over what CT value should constitute a confirmed case, he said.
It is possible that the result from the test done in Japan is not reliable, given that people who had close contact with her have all tested negative so far, he said, adding that it was possible that she was infected in Taiwan one or two months ago, or even earlier.
As of yesterday, Taiwan had reported 447 cases, with seven fatalities, CECC data showed.
They comprised 356 imported cases, 55 local cases and 36 among crew members on the navy supply ship Panshih (磐石), the data showed.
In related news, eight foreign students arrived yesterday at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and began 14 days of isolation, the Ministry of Education said.
They are among the first batch of 2,238 students allowed to re-enter Taiwan after the center last week announced a list of 11 low-risk countries or regions from which students can return to study in Taiwan, with those planning to graduate this semester prioritized.
The places are Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Fiji, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Thailand, New Zealand, Palau and Vietnam.
On Thursday, the airport reopened for transit passengers whose stay is scheduled for less than eight hours. Seven travelers from the Philippines arrived at the airport yesterday on transit stops before flights to three cities in the US.
Additional reporting by CNA
PROTECTION: The New Taipei City mayor said a pass could cover stores, but not eateries, while Ko Wen-je said vaccinated people could be exempted from some rules Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) on Saturday proposed implementing a “COVID-19 pass” regulation that would allow only vaccinated people into certain areas. New Taipei City is planning to require a “COVID-19 pass” for entry to “vulnerable spaces” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hou said. Non-students entering elementary schools in New Taipei City are required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of students under the age of 12, who are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials have said. The
PAPERS, PLEASE: A digital certificate or a printout would return one of three results: green for ‘pass,’ red for ‘not passed’ or yellow for ‘to be determined,’ the CECC said Starting today, people can download a Digital COVID-19 Certificate, with the government now requiring people at night clubs, karaoke bars and other businesses in “eight major special establishment categories” to be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination certificate. The eight categories include dance venues, massage parlors, hostess bars and saunas. Customers and service personnel at the venues have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as they can neither avoid contact with people nor strictly observe distancing guidelines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. As such, both groups are required to be fully vaccinated, meaning that they must have had at least a
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they