Maximum disease prevention measures were taken by ground staff as passengers arriving in Taiwan on a China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空) flight from London were last night sent to three quarantine centers in the greater Taipei area, Hospital and Social Welfare Organizations Administration Commission Director Wang Pi-sheng (王必勝) said.
Upon landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the 114 passengers on Flight CI-82 — 90 Taiwanese, one Chinese and 23 foreign nationals — were led to an airport lounge and greeted by ground staff wearing masks and protective suits, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.
Passengers with symptoms received a COVID-19 test on site, while the others were sent in six buses to the quarantine centers, where they also received COVID-19 tests before they began 14 days of quarantine, the CECC said, adding that the results would be available today.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
All passengers would be tested a second time before they complete their quarantine, it said, adding that the 13 flight personnel were required to quarantine at home for 14 days.
As of press time, one passenger was sent to hospital directly from the airport with a fever, the CECC said.
The flight was the first to arrive from the UK since the CECC last week cut the number of weekly flights between the two countries from two to one and introduced new arrival protocols for travelers from England in response to a new coronavirus strain, which is believed to be up to 70 percent more contagious.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Separately yesterday, Chunghwa Post Co (中華郵政) announced that, starting today, post offices nationwide would stop delivering or accepting airmail or packages to and from the UK.
“As the UK is severely affected by the discovery of a more transmissible COVID-19 virus strain, airlines in charge of delivering mail for the company have canceled all of their flights heading to the country,” the postal company said. “We will make further announcements as to when and how postal services to the UK will resume.”
Deliveries to foreign countries or regions are mostly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the most serious delays reported for mail and packages to Canada, France, Malaysia, the US and Melbourne, Australia, it added.
Meanwhile, the CECC said that Taiwan has two new imported cases of COVID-19, both of whom are Indonesian fishers.
The two fishers came to Taiwan on Dec. 10 with proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued within three days of their flight, and went into quarantine at a hotel, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman, told a news conference.
After they completed their quarantine, their labor brokers arranged for them to be tested on Friday and their results came back positive yesterday, Chuang said, adding that both are asymptomatic.
Additional reporting by Shelley Shan
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