The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday confirmed three new imported cases of COVID-19, arrivals from Canada, the US and Poland, bringing Taiwan’s total to 958 cases.
A Taiwanese man in his 20s who was studying in Canada provided a required negative COVID-19 test result and had no symptoms before entering Taiwan on Friday last week and beginning quarantine, but on Sunday, his sense of smell changed and he had a runny nose, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news briefing in Taipei.
He sought treatment and was tested for COVID-19 at a hospital, and the result returned positive yesterday, Chen said.
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP
Health authorities have identified 21 people who had contact with the man, including 17 cabin crew members and four passengers on his flight to Taiwan, Chen added.
A Taiwanese woman in her 50s who in November last year flew to the US to visit relatives had a negative COVID-19 test result and entered Taiwan on Friday last week, but she had an itchy throat on Monday, he said.
She was tested that day and the result returned positive yesterday, Chen said, adding that one contact had been identified and was quarantining at home.
The third case was a Polish man in his 40s who had a negative COVID-19 test result and entered Taiwan for work on Feb. 18, but his sense of smell changed on Monday, Chen said, adding that he was tested that day and the result returned positive yesterday.
There were no contacts to trace because the man had been in quarantine since his arrival, he added.
Of Taiwan’s 958 COVID-19 cases, 842 have been classified as imported. Although nine people with COVID-19 have died and 23 remain hospitalized, 926 people have recovered, CECC data showed.
Yesterday, the center changed the COVID-19 risk assessment for Australia from low-to-moderate risk to low, allowing short-term business travelers from the country to further shorten their quarantine period.
In Taiwan, business travelers from countries with an assessment of low-to-moderate or low risk can apply to have their 14-day quarantine shortened, as long as they pay to take a test for COVID-19 when they finish and the result returns negative.
Those from countries with a low risk of contracting COVID-19 can apply to have their quarantine end on the fifth day after their arrival, while those from countries of low-to-moderate risk can apply to have it end after seven.
The center has assessed New Zealand, Macau, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Laos, Nauru, East Timor, Mauritius, the Marshall Islands, Bhutan and Australia to be of low risk.
The center has listed Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia as being of low-to-moderate risk.
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