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Homeland Security

Taiwan scrambles to trace possible domestic COVID-19 case contacts

ROC Central News Agency

07/27/2020 06:03 PM

Taipei, July 24 (CNA) Health authorities are currently trying to track down all people who may have come in contact with a Thai migrant worker found to be infected with COVID-19 after he returned to Thailand last week, the Central Epidemic Command Center said Monday.

Thai authorities informed Taiwan that a migrant worker who arrived in Thailand on July 21 from Taipei tested positive for the novel coronavirus while in quarantine on Saturday, said CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) at a press briefing in Taipei.

According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand has classified the case from Taiwan as an imported case, but the CECC still wants to confirm with Thai authorities when the patient became symptomatic and when the actual date of the test was performed, Chuang said.

"We are unclear if they meant the patient was confirmed to be positive on Saturday or was tested on Saturday, and we are trying to clarify that with Thai authorities," Chuang said, without explaining how those details would affect the CECC's evaluation of the case.

An investigation into the worker's background found that he worked in a company in northern Taiwan with eight other Thai workers and a number of Taiwanese workers, Chuang said.

Everyone who lived with the migrant worker in the company dormitory will be quarantined and required to get treatment if they show any symptoms, Chuang said.

The patient entered Taiwan Jan. 17, 2018 and left for Thailand on July 21, and had not been outside of Taiwan during that time, Chuang said.

The case has gained attention because Taiwan has not reported a domestic case of COVID-19 since April 12.

Chuang said the CECC has not ruled out that it could be a domestic case but indicated that the CECC wanted to find out more information because it only found out about the positive test result at around Monday noon.

Of the 462 cases recorded in the country since the outbreak began late last year, 371 have been classified as imported, 55 as locally acquired, and 36 as a cluster infection on board a naval ship, an outbreak that was later confirmed to have originated in Taiwan.

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 16,230,427 people in 187 countries and regions, with a total of 649,538 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Monday.

(By William Yen)


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