The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339.
The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed.
Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases, including the group’s guide, a man in his 40s who passed away on Sunday, the center said.
Photo provided by the Central Epidemic Command Center via CNA
The two locally transmitted cases, a man and a woman, are in their 50s, it said.
Neither had traveled abroad recently, but the man had contact with a previously confirmed case, it said, adding that the source of the woman’s infection remains unclear.
The woman worked as a security guard at an apartment complex and the center is tracing her contact history there, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
Asked if people would be blocked from having contact with the complex, Chen said that the center has asked the building managers to inform residents that they should avoid contact with outside people.
The process of disinfecting the complex was begun yesterday morning, he added.
Asked for the complex’s location, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that it is in northern Taiwan.
As of yesterday, the nation had five coronavirus-related deaths, while 50 people had been discharged from quarantine facilities, center data showed.
The center began yesterday — “in principle” — to ban people from visiting patients in hospitals, except for in emergencies, Chen said, adding that hospitals across the nation have been informed.
In addition, as of today, all inbound passengers who have developed suspicious symptoms in the 14 days prior to arriving are to be transported to a government-designated quarantine facility by the taxi service for quarantined travelers, said Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center.
As often as possible, people would be taken to the facility nearest the airport they arrived at: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, he said.
Inbound travelers would not be charged to stay at a government-designated facility, the center said, adding that those testing positive would be hospitalized, while those testing negative could quarantine themselves at home or quarantine hotels.
By Wednesday, the number of people arriving in Taiwan had fallen to nearly 1,500 — 81 of whom had suspicious symptoms, he added.
India on Wednesday last week implemented a lockdown, but 12 Taiwanese were able to take a Japan Airlines fight to Tokyo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Some were able to return to Taiwan yesterday, while the others would arrive later, the ministry said, expressing its thanks to agencies in India and Japan for their assistance.
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