Three new imported COVID-19 cases reported in Taiwan
ROC Central News Agency
07/24/2020 05:17 PM
Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Three people who recently returned from the Philippines have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan since the start of the pandemic to 458, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday.
One of them, a Filipino man in his 50s married to a Taiwanese, had gone to the Philippines last November for work and returned to Taiwan on July 20 with symptoms of the disease, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing in Taipei.
On arrival in Taiwan, the man was tested by airport health officials and put in quarantine, Chuang said.
The first tests results came back negative on July 21, but because his severe cough persisted, he was sent to a hospital to be tested again, and the results came back positive for the coronavirus Friday, the CECC said in a statement.
A total of 21 people who sat close to him on their flight to Taiwan have been identified to remain in home isolation, Chuang said, while 11 members of the flight's cabin crew have been asked to practice self-health management, which essentially means wearing a mask at all times and taking one's temperature twice a day.
Another patient, a Filipino national in his 30s who also holds a Taiwanese passport but does not have household registration, traveled to the Philippines in March to visit relatives and returned to Taiwan on July 13, Chuang said.
The man had been in home quarantine since returning to Taiwan, but developed headaches and abnormal senses of taste and smell from July 13 to 15, and also experienced a fever on July 17, Chuang said.
The man contacted local health authorities on July 20 and was sent for a test that turned out to be positive on Friday, Chuang said.
He is currently in a hospital receiving treatment.
A total of 15 people from his flight have been contacted and will be asked to remain isolated at home, while 14 cabin crew members will be required to practice self-health management, Chuang said.
Another eight people who may have come in close proximity to the man in Taiwan were also asked to undergo home isolation.
Out of the eight people, seven lived in the same residence as the man, who had his own room and bathroom, and one visited the residence while the man was in quarantine, the CECC said.
Chuang told CNA that the move to isolate the eight people was being taken as a precaution and did not imply that they had actually come in contact with him.
The remaining patient, a woman in her 30s, had traveled to the Philippines in January for work purposes and returned to Taiwan on Wednesday, Chuang said.
The woman experienced a fever, an abnormal sense of taste and smell, and diarrhea starting July 14, but a rapid test organized by her company turned out negative, the CECC said.
She was tested again and quarantined upon her arrival in Taiwan after informing airport health officials of her symptoms, the CECC said, adding that the results came back positive Friday, with the woman now being treated in a hospital.
A total of five people who sat near her on the plane have been asked to remain in home isolation, the CECC said.
The new imported cases of COVID-19 on Friday raised the total number of imported cases from the Philippines this month to six, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.
"Out of the 11 imported cases recorded in July, six have come from the Philippines," Chen said. "In the past two weeks, Philippines has seen some 1,600 new cases everyday."
Taiwan has not recorded any locally transmitted cases since April 12, according to CECC data.
To date, 440 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered and seven have died, with the rest still in the hospital, the CECC said.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected 15,466,590 people in 187 countries and regions, with a total of 629,359 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Friday.
(By William Yen)
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