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
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
LIVING WITH COVID-19: Close contacts with a booster shot would no longer follow the ‘3+4’ policy, instead practicing ‘0+7,’ or self-disease prevention for seven days Close contacts of COVID-19 cases who have received a booster shot no longer need to isolate at home, but should practice seven days of “self-disease prevention,” effective today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting at 12am today, close contacts — people living in the same household — of those confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are exempt from home isolation if they have received a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Data from other countries show that people who have received a booster shot are
‘TOO RESTRICTIVE’: Ending US sales of weapons that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric’ would hamper Taiwan’s defense against China, two business groups said Taiwan’s weapons procurement decisions are made based on its needs, and are not influenced by individual arms dealers, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday after two US business groups questioned a US official’s comment on arms sales to Taiwan. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick told the business groups via video link on Saturday that Washington would adjust the types of weapons sold to Taiwan and end “most arms sales to Taiwan that do not fall under the category of ‘asymmetric.’” The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and the US-Taiwan Business Council on Monday