Taiwan yesterday confirmed 14 new imported cases of COVID-19, the highest number in a single day since April, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.
Thirteen of the cases were female Indonesian migrant workers in their 20s to 40s, Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) told a news conference in Taipei.
Twelve of them arrived in Taiwan on Nov. 12 on the same flight, while the other one arrived on Nov. 11, Lo said.
The 13 women were administered COVID-19 tests upon completion of their mandatory 14-day quarantine, and the results returned positive, he said.
They were all asymptomatic, except one who said that she experienced a sore throat on Thursday last week and a runny nose on Monday, but did not immediately report the symptoms, Lo said.
Despite the high number of cases on the same flight, the CECC said that no contact tracing would be conducted, as the quarantine period had already elapsed.
The cases could be isolated infections, rather than a cluster, as the women attended job training at several different centers in Indonesia and did not sit close to each other on the flight to Taiwan, Lo said.
The 14th case was that of a Taiwanese man in his 30s, who resides in the US and reported no symptoms on arrival in Taiwan on Friday last week, Lo said.
However, after checking into a quarantine hotel, the man on Saturday last week experienced a sore throat and fatigue, but did not report his symptoms to health authorities until Wednesday, Lo said.
Eleven people who sat near him on the flight to Taiwan have been asked to report if they experience symptoms during their mandatory quarantine, while 12 other contacts, including the flight crew and a driver, were deemed sufficiently protected and would not be required to self-isolate, Lo said.
The 14 new cases were the highest number of new imported infections reported in Taiwan in a single day since April 19, when 22 cases were confirmed, 21 of which were part of a cluster infection aboard a Taiwanese naval ship, CECC statistics showed.
To date, Taiwan has reported 639 cases of COVID-19, 547 of which were classified as imported.
Of the total, 555 patients have recovered, seven have died and 77 remain hospitalized, CECC data showed.
Indonesia has as of yesterday recorded 516,753 cases of COVID-19 and 16,352 fatalities, data released by the Web site Worldometers showed.
Meanwhile, in accordance with the CECC’s disease prevention measures for the fall and winter, the Taiwan Railways Administration and Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp announced that starting on Wednesday next week, people must wear mask as soon as they enter train station lobbies and ticketing areas.
Food and drinks are still allowed on the trains as long as passengers practice social distancing, the railway operators said, adding that passengers must put their masks back on after they finished eating or drinking.
Aside from monitoring people’s temperatures at station entrances, facilities including train carriages and escalators would also be periodically disinfected, they added.
Additional reporting by Cheng Wei-chi
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