The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday confirmed that three more top officials have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and would stay home for seven days while others take over their duties.
The three are Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元), who heads the CECC’s medical response division; Hospital and Social Welfare Organizations Administration Commission Director Victor Wang (王必勝), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division; and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman.
They tested positive two days after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sunday.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, yesterday said that two of the three officials began experiencing mild symptoms yesterday morning and tested positive using at-home rapid tests.
Hsueh also tested positive, but is asymptomatic, Lo added.
Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the CECC, said the three had consulted a doctor via telemedicine and had been advised to stay home.
“While they are on leave and undergoing care at home, their duties are to be carried out by deputy heads or other officials, so the CECC’s normal operations would not be affected,” Lo said, adding that he would be the acting CECC spokesperson for seven days.
Lo said that he, and Chen Tsung-yen and CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), head of the CECC’s disease surveillance division, had taken COVID-19 rapid tests yesterday morning, which all came back negative.
However, they would continue to practice self-health monitoring while carrying out their duties, Lo said.
Asked if the three officials could have contracted the disease from the same source and whether Wang had visited any hospitals recently, Chen Tsung-yen said he did not know Wang’s recent itinerary, but the three are using the CDC’s Taiwan Social Distancing app.
As the nation no longer conducts contact tracing, the CECC encourages people to download and use the Taiwan Social Distancing app, and practice personal protective measures, instead of trying to find out the sources of infection, Chou said.
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