The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday launched a mobile app exclusively for people who are under isolation, quarantine or self-health management in connection with a COVID-19 cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, to provide round-the-clock online consultation with the help of emergency medicine doctors for free.
A cluster infection has broken out at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital since the first case was confirmed on Jan. 12 — a doctor who treated a hospitalized patient who had returned from the US.
As of yesterday, 15 people associated with the hospital have contracted the disease.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that as the center has extended the quarantine standards for the hospital cluster, 1,301 people have as of yesterday been placed under 14-day isolation.
Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said that the mobile app has been launched especially for people associated with the hospital cluster — those who are under isolation, quarantine or self-health management, as well as hospital patients’ family members who live with them and caregivers who accompanied patients at the hospital.
Two emergency medicine doctors would be available at all times for users to consult online if they experience abnormal health conditions, he said, adding that the users can upload photographs or medical records for the doctors’ reference.
The doctors are from Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, China Medical University Hospital, Tainan’s Chi Mei Medical Center, and Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, he added.
Taoyuan General Hospital would help deliver drugs to patients who need prescription medicine, Shih said.
If one of the doctors determines that a user need to seek medical attention at a hospital, the Taoyuan Department of Public Health would arrange the transportation and medical appointment, ensuring that the procedure is conducted under proper COVID-19 prevention standards, he said.
To use the online consultation service, eligible people should download the mobile app by scanning a QR code published by the CECC, fill in a real-name registration form and receive verification, Shih said, adding that he hopes that those who are eligible would not abuse the free service.
Shih urged healthcare practitioners to ask the contact history of patients who were discharged from Taoyuan General Hospital from Jan. 6 to Tuesday last week.
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