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Taiwanese evacuees from cruise ship test negative again for coronavirus

ROC Central News Agency

02/23/2020 07:46 PM

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) The second round of tests on the 19 Taiwan nationals evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has come back negative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.

The 19 Taiwanese will remain isolation for 14 days in separate rooms at a quarantine center, according to the CECC.

The 19 evacuees arrived in Taiwan from Tokyo Friday night on a special charter flight that was also carrying four medical personnel and seven flight crew members.

They were immediately taken to three different hospitals in Taipei and Taoyuan cities for testing and none of 19 passengers from the Diamond Princess had a fever or any other symptoms of the COVID-19, Wang Pi-Sheng (王必勝), director of the Hospital and Social Welfare Organizations Administration Commission, told reporters at a briefing Saturday in Taipei.

The initial tests for the virus all came back negative, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) confirmed later Saturday.

A second round of tests for the virus was carried out late Saturday, and all 19 evacuees again tested negative, according to the CECC.

During the 14-day quarantine, the 19 people will be checked twice a day by health professionals for symptoms such as fever and respiratory tract infection, the CECC said.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Taiwan increased Sunday to 28, after a father and son in their 80s and 50s, respectively, were diagnosed with the virus, according to the CECC.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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