The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported six new imported cases of COVID-19.
Among them was a Paraguayan man who on March 5 traveled from Paraguay to Taiwan, via Brazil and Dubai, to study, the center said.
He was tested twice while in quarantine at a government center, and both results came back negative, it said.
However, the result of a third test he took at a hospital on Monday came back positive, although the result of a fourth test taken the next day was negative, the center said.
He had no symptoms while in Taiwan, and five of his contacts — foreign students who shared a dormitory with him while he was undergoing self-health management — tested negative on Monday, it said, adding that his contacts had been ordered to isolate.
Another case was an Irish man who on March 15 arrived in Taiwan for work, it said.
He tested positive for COVID-19 in Ireland on Jan. 8, although the results of an additional test on Jan. 21 returned negative, it said.
He tested positive on Tuesday, but the result of another test on Wednesday came back negative, the center said.
The man had no symptoms while in Taiwan and was not in contact with others during his quarantine, it said.
Another case was a Taiwanese woman who on March 5 arrived from Dubai, the center said.
She travels between China, Africa and Dubai for her job, the center said, adding that her most recent departure from Taiwan was in June last year.
She took two self-paid COVID-19 tests on Wednesday last week and Tuesday as she was planning to leave Taiwan, it said, adding that the result for the first test came back negative and the second positive.
Two other cases involve migrant workers from the Philippines — a man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s, the center said.
During quarantine, the woman experienced a distorted sense of taste, while the man lost his sense of smell and taste, it said, adding that both were tested.
The results for both came back positive yesterday, the center said.
The sixth case is an Indonesian who on Sunday arrived in Taiwan with a family member, it said.
The woman experienced hot and cold flushes during the flight, and had a fever when she arrived, the center said.
She was tested on arrival and sent to a hospital, the center said, adding that her result came back positive yesterday.
Separately yesterday, centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is CECC spokesman, said that the government had spoken directly to all companies producing COVID-19 vaccines, including Germany’s BioNTech.
Chuang made the remarks in response to Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang (郭廣昌) founder and chairman of Fosun International Ltd, which distributes BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines in the region.
Guo said that the company “has the responsibility, duty and willingness to offer the best vaccine to the greater China region, including Taiwan,” and that he hopes that this “desire can soon be realized.”
Chuang said that “there was no message from BioNTech that we should instead talk to Fosun.”
Taiwan has signed a supply deal with BioNTech, and is waiting for its response, he said.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg and CNA
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