The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and antibodies against the virus were detected in family members of China Airlines pilots who had also tested positive.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the first local case — No. 1,112 — is a Taiwanese man in his 70s who had a short period of close contact with his elder brother (case No. 1,068), who tested positive, during quarantine, as did his wife (case No. 1,106).
The man had been bringing meals to the couple when they were quarantined at home after returning from Canada on April 9, and he entered the home on one occasion for about half an hour after his brother had a fall, Chen said.
Case No. 1,112 was tested on Monday, with the result being positive, and so far 190 close contacts have been ordered into isolation, while people who have been to public spaces he visited when he was likely contagious should practice self-health management, Chen said.
Asked whether case No. 1,112 had broken quarantine rules by entering the home, and whether he should have reported the incident, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said that the situation was difficult to avoid, as the man could not have left his brother lying on the ground.
The man should have reported the incident, so the center would consider making rules to require the reporting of unavoidable contact with quarantined people, he said.
Case No. 1,113 is a Taiwanese teenager and the son of a China Airlines pilot who tested negative for COVID-19, but positive for the immunoglobulin M antibody, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that the teen had low viral loads in tests on Monday and Tuesday.
Case No. 1,114 is a woman in her 40s and the wife of another China Airlines pilot, who had also tested negative for COVID-19, but positive for the antibody, he said.
She tested positive for the virus with a low viral load on Monday and negative on Tuesday, he said.
Two other family members of case No. 1,113 and a family member of case No. 1,114 tested negative for COVID-19, but positive for the antibody, indicating a previous infection, he said.
CECC specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said that case Nos. 1,113 and 1,114 were likely in the late stage of a COVID-19 infection, and are unlikely to be contagious.
More than 80 percent of China Airlines’ pilots have undergone polymerase chain reaction and antibody tests in an expanded testing program launched last week, and the center does not yet see a clear link between the nine pilots who have tested positive for COVID-19, Chen Shih-chung said.
The center believes they contracted the disease in other countries, where infection risks are much higher than in Taiwan, he said, adding that further analysis would be done after testing finishes.
Chen Tsung-yen said that discussions were under way over whether China Airlines’ flight crew members should be quarantined “one person per household.”
The policy would mainly be to protect family members, but it has not yet been finalized, he said.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is CECC spokesperson, said that 2,723 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, 1,748 self-paid and 975 government-funded, while 48,180 people have received their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The CECC might expand eligibility for government-funded vaccines soon, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that family members of flight crew might be added to a priority group.
The CECC reported three new imported cases of COVID-19 yesterday, two students from India and a Taiwanese man who returned from India.
VITAL INDUSTRY: A war in the Strait would be a catastrophe, as Taiwan ‘lies at the heart’ of the world’s semiconductor industry, the magazine’s report said The government yesterday welcomed international attention on Taiwan’s security, saying that China is to blame for threatening regional stability, after a report by The Economist called Taiwan “the most dangerous place on Earth.” The report is featured on the cover of the magazine’s latest issue, which depicts the nation as the epicenter of a US-China rivalry. The cover shows Taiwan in a radar display with dots crossing the Taiwan Strait accompanied by a Chinese flag and dots nearing the east coast with a US flag. The US maintains a “one China” policy, while maintaining relations with Taiwan, but such “strategic ambiguity is breaking
HIGH-RISK GROUP: After the latest outbreak, family members of workers exposed to infection would from tomorrow be eligible for government-funded vaccines The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four local COVID-19 cases: three family members of an infected worker at a quarantine hotel and a family member of an infected pilot. The new cases bring the number of infections involving China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) pilots and the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, where many of the airline’s crew members quarantined, to 24. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said three of them are the husband, son and daughter of case No. 1,129, a woman in her 60s, who works at the hotel. The son is in
NEXT STEP? The contract chipmaker said it would decide whether to add more plants based on operation efficiency, cost economics and demand Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan. Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up
VIRUS CURBS: Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan is banned until May 17, the CECC announced The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday banned visits to patients or residents at healthcare and long-term care facilities in three cities until May 17. It also reported six imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases with unclear infection sources. As the number of locally transmitted cases rises, some of whom have visited many places in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, enhanced disease prevention measures have to be implemented in the three cities, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and