Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan.
The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
The boy and his parents have not developed any symptoms of COVID-19, but the baby’s antigen test upon arrival was positive, while his parents’ were negative.
The second case is a Taiwanese woman in her 30s who went to Japan for work on Wednesday last week, after paying for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Monday last week, which was negative.
Her antigen test upon arrival was also positive, but another PCR test on Tuesday came back negative, Chen said.
The third case is another a one-year-old Taiwanese boy whose parents live permanently in Japan, Chen said.
The baby came to Taiwan with his mother in January, while his father returned in February.
The parents sought treatment for their son for a fever and respiratory symptoms on Sept. 28, and he appeared better on Oct. 5, however, an antigen test upon arrival in Japan on Wednesday last week came back positive, while his parents tested negative, Chen said.
A total of 155 close contacts of the two infants and the woman have been identified, and 147 were tested; 114 people received a negative PCR test result, while 33 tested negative in both a PCR test and an antibody test.
As of yesterday, a total of 49 travelers from Taiwan have been reported positive for COVID-19 in other countries, and 2,381 close contacts of the cases in Taiwan were identified, with 1,258 people required testing, Chen said.
Among those tested, 115 people tested negative in a PCR test, and 1,143 people tested negative in both the PCR and antibody tests, he added
Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convenor of the CECC specialist advisory panel, said that while several travelers from Taiwan (13 people) have been reported positive for COVID-19 in Japan, many tested negative in a PCR test about five to seven days afterwards.
He said the manual for the rapid antigen test kit used in Japan’s airports mentioned a clinical trial result, showing that among 30 people who tested positive with the antigen test, only 22 people tested positive in a PCR test, indicating that the sensitivity (true positive rate) of the kit is only about 73 percent.
Meanwhile, the new imported case is an Indonesian student in his teens, who came to Taiwan for study with five other Indonesians on Oct. 5.
The student had provided a negative PCR test result obtained three days before coming to Taiwan and was asymptomatic upon arrival, Chen said.
The student did not report suffering symptoms during quarantine, but he tested positive on Tuesday in a mandatory PCR test after the quarantine period ended, Chen said.
During contact investigation, the student reported that he had developed a cough and a sore throat on Oct. 8 while in quarantine, but they disappeared on Oct. 10.
The other five Indonesian have tested negative, and while two of them have been placed under home isolation, the other three will practice self-health management, the CECC said.
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