Starting tomorrow, all Indonesian migrant workers arriving in Taiwan will be placed under centralized quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported two new imported cases of COVID-19 infection.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while many travelers from the Philippines have been confirmed with COVID-19 in the past few months, the number of imported cases from Indonesia has also been increasing.
So in addition to requiring all migrant workers employed in the social welfare sector to stay at centralized quarantine facilities upon arrival, as of tomorrow, all Indonesian workers are to be placed under centralized quarantine and receive mandatory COVID-19 testing before leaving quarantine, he said.
An investigation by the CECC and the Ministry of Labor found that four employment agencies in Indonesia that train migrant workers for employment in Taiwan seemed to have inadequate COVID-19 infection controls, so the ministry has temporarily suspended accepting applications from them.
The four are Pt Sentosa Karya Aditama, Pt Vita Melati Indonesia, Pt Ekoristi Berkarya and Pt Graha Ayukarsa, the CECC said.
Twenty arriving Indonesian migrant workers recently confirmed with COVID-19 had been hired by those companies, it said.
However, workers who were trained at those agencies and who obtained an entry visa before today would be allowed to enter the country, Chen said.
Before the agencies can resume hiring and sending workers to Taiwan, they must be recognized by Indonesian health authorities as having improved their disease-prevention measures and their recruits no longer have COVID-19 infections, as well as receive approval from the CECC, center officials said.
Meanwhile, two new imported cases of COVID-19 confirmed yesterday are an Indonesian woman in her 30s and a Taiwanese man in his 60s.
The Indonesian, case No. 607, arrived on Thursday last week and was placed in a centralized quarantine facility, where she developed a sore throat and muscle pain on Saturday, Chen said.
She saw a doctor on Monday after developing a fever, runny nose and sore throat, and her test came back positive yesterday, Chen said.
Two other migrant workers who came to Taiwan with her and 44 other passengers who sat close to her on the flight from Indonesia have been placed under home isolation, he said.
The man, case No. 608, is a permanent resident of the US and returned to Taiwan on Wednesday last week after leaving for the US in October last year, Chen said.
The man did not have any symptoms upon his arrival, but the following day, while staying at a quarantine hotel, he developed a light fever, muscle soreness, a headache, cough and a runny nose, Chen said.
The local health department arranged for him to see a doctor on Monday and be tested, he added.
In other developments, the CECC said it would move Mongolia to the list of medium-low infection risk countries or areas from which short-term business travelers can apply for shortened quarantine periods, as there has been an increase in reports of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in that country.
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