The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported no new domestic or imported COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day.
The last time the nation had no new cases for consecutive days was 109 days ago, when no cases were reported from Oct. 25 to 27 last year, it said.
Answering questions about a Vietnamese news report that a 39-year-old Taiwanese woman who arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Jan. 28 tested positive in a second COVID-19 test on Thursday, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman, said the center has contacted Vietnam’s National IHR Focal Point for details.
However, it has not received any response yet, as Vietnam is also celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday, he said.
Although the case might be a false positive, the patient have contracted the disease in Vietnam or might have been asymptomatic in Taiwan, the CECC would “treat it as a domestic case and conduct contact tracing immediately,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
“We will not let a spark become a great fire,” he said.
Chen also shared his thoughts after visiting a centralized quarantine facility in Taichung earlier in the day.
“Centralized quarantine facilities are an important line of defense against COVID-19, which can be viewed as an extension of border controls,” he said.
Chen said more than 25,000 people have stayed in centralized quarantine facilities in the past year, and 331 confirmed cases were detected among them, accounting for about one-third of all the confirmed cases in Taiwan.
High-risk people and those who have violated quarantine orders have been sent to stay at centralized quarantine facilities, he said.
Some quarantine rooms were severely damaged after people who broke home quarantine were compelled to stay at the facilities, but facility personnel calmed them down and monitored their health conditions, he added.
There would have been a risk of community spread if a few people broke quarantine, but with the help of specialized personnel at the facilities, no one broke quarantine and no cluster infection occurred, Chen said.
Giving updates on a cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital, Chen said 4,346 people associated with the cluster are still under 14 days of home isolation, meaning they spent the Lunar New Year holiday in isolation.
Among the 21 confirmed cases in the cluster, six have been released from isolation, six have mild symptoms, five are asymptomatic, two are on ventilators, one has pneumonia and one has died, he said.
Among 3,423 people associated with the hospital cluster who need to undergo a final polymerase chain reaction test, 3,414 have tested negative, and the remaining nine still need to be tested, he added.
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