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Homeland Security

Further self-health management needed after home quarantine: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

04/05/2020 08:46 PM

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Everyone who completes mandatory 14-day home quarantine must now undergo an additional seven days of self-health management, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday, amid increasing concern over asymptomatic cases.

The new measure went into immediate effect Sunday and applies to everyone who completes 14-day home quarantine, compulsory for those entering Taiwan on or after March 19, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) chief Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said.

People undergoing the seven-day self-health management are required to minimize time spent in public, wear a surgical mask and practice common hygiene to avoid infecting others. They must also test their body temperature twice daily and report any suspected symptoms to the 1922 epidemic monitoring hotline.

The move was implemented because of Taiwan's 356th case, an imported case where a Taiwanese man in his 60s later confirmed infected with the coronavirus, showed no symptoms after returning from the United States where he worked from Feb. 23 to March 17. The man later infected his wife, said Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), CDC deputy-director and CECC spokesman.

"It was because the wife later showed symptoms and was tested that we were able to trace the source of infection to her husband," Chuang said.

The wife, Taiwan's 343rd case, a woman in her 60s with no recent overseas travel history, was confirmed as infected with the coronavirus after showing symptoms that included body aches, coughing, and a runny nose on March 20, CECC records showed.

The husband, Taiwan's 356th case, underwent 14-day self-health management when he returned to Taiwan on March 17, but despite experiencing light diarrhea had no other major symptoms and so thought he did not have the virus, Chuang said.

Meanwhile, CECC advisory specialist panel convener Chang Shan- chwen (張上淳) said there has been an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 infected patients who have had diarrhea.

"There have been cases where there was only diarrhea, while there have also been cases where there were a number of symptoms, such as a fever and cough, but only diarrhea remained after the others disappeared," he said.

Before March 31, diarrhea symptoms were seen in 19 of the 322 confirmed cases, which accounts for about six percent of cases, Chang said, adding that about half of all patients have displayed fever and coughing.

However, from April 1-3, five cases out of 26 experienced diarrhea, which represents 19 percent, Chang said.

Therefore anyone with unexplained diarrhea in addition to overseas travel or contact history will be asked to seek medical attention and testing, Chang added.

On Sunday, Taiwan recorded eight new infections, bringing the total to 363 since the coronavirus emerged in China at the end of last year, according to CECC statistics.

(By William Yen)


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