The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported seven new COVID-19 cases, including three domestic ones linked to Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport.
Starting from next week, the center is to inspect quarantine hotels nationwide, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei yesterday.
The center on Thursday said that a senior housekeeping employee at the hotel (identified as case No. 1,120) had tested positive for the virus, while 412 people at the hotel were moved to government quarantine facilities and received virus tests.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Among them, three hotel employees, all Taiwanese, tested positive for the virus yesterday, Chen said.
Case No. 1,127, a woman in her 20s, worked in the hotel’s catering department and reported having an itchy throat on Thursday, Chen said, adding that 10 people who have been in contact with her are required to isolate at home.
Case No. 1,128, a man in his 20s, worked at the hotel’s housekeeping department and was hospitalized on Thursday after running a fever, while another four people who have had contact with him have been placed in home isolation, he said.
Case No. 1,129, a woman in her 60s, also worked at the hotel’s housekeeping department and reported having a cough and sore throat on Monday, while four people who have had contact with her are required to enter home isolation, he said.
Chen also revealed their movements in Taoyuan on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as those of case No. 1,120, saying that people who traveled on the Taoyuan Airport MRT between Airport Hotel Station and Sanchong Station from April 15 to Sunday should conduct self-health management for 14 days and visit a doctor if they experience symptoms.
Case No. 1,120, a man in his 40s, is intubated in an intensive care unit with severe symptoms, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy chief of the CECC’s medical response division.
During an interview with POP Radio yesterday morning, Chen said that hotel employees might have contracted the virus from a pilot or pilots of foreign airlines when cleaning their rooms after they checked out.
The government would no longer use Novotel to quarantine foreign pilots and instead has found two other Taoyuan hotels to accommodate them, he said.
The center is also looking into airline employees who checked out from Novotel from April 15 to Wednesday and has asked them to isolate at home, the center said.
Others who had visited the hotel during the period should also conduct 14-day self-health management, it added.
The four imported cases reported yesterday arrived from Egypt, India, Kazakhstan and the Philippines, the CECC said.
Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) visited Airport Hotel Station and said that the city would disinfect the 51km line linking Taipei and Taoyuan in two days.
The city would tighten face mask and other COVID-19 prevention measures, including capping the number of attendees allowed at indoor and outdoor events to 500 and 1,000 respectively, and continuing to require people to leave their contact information when visiting government offices or attending public gatherings, Cheng said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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