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Taiwan sees new imported COVID-19 case, reclassifies Myanmar risk

ROC Central News Agency

09/02/2020 06:35 PM

Taipei, Sept. 2 (CNA) Taiwan recorded a new imported case of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on Wednesday, an Indonesian national, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan since the start of the pandemic to 489, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said that day.

The latest case, an Indonesian sailor in his 40s, entered Taiwan on Aug. 16 and underwent the mandatory 14-day quarantine period before he was scheduled to set sail from Taiwan for work Wednesday, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, at a press briefing in Taipei.

The man had provided a negative COVID-19 test result taken three days before boarding a flight for Taiwan and was sent for another test by his company on a shuttle bus on Aug. 31, with the results coming back positive Wednesday for both the virus and its antibodies, Chen said.

The man is now in a hospital negative pressure isolation room, the CECC said in a statement.

A total of 35 people on the shuttle bus, including its two drivers, have been asked to self-isolate, Chen said.

"It is likely the patient was infected for a while before he entered Taiwan and he may not have been infectious while in the country," CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told CNA.

The latest COVID-19 case brings the total number in Taiwan to 489, with 397 classified as imported, according to the CECC.

Of those, 471 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered and seven have died, while the other 11 are receiving treatment in hospitals, the CECC said.

Of the patients in hospital, two have severe pneumonia but are not in an intensive care unit and do not have to use a respirator or ventilator, Chuang said.

Also on Wednesday, the CECC updated the list of countries from which business travelers can apply for shorter quarantine periods upon arrival, moving Myanmar from the low-risk category to a low-to-moderate risk designation.

The decision is based on a resurgence of cases in Myanmar, Chen said.

The country recorded 100 new cases on Monday, hiking the total number of confirmed cases to 887, according to data provided by Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sports.

Under the policy, which took effect on June 22, business travelers from countries classified as low risk can apply to have their quarantine shortened by taking a self-paid COVID-19 test on the fifth day after their arrival, while those from low-to-moderate risk countries can do so on the seventh day after arrival.

The updated list published by the CECC on Wednesday classified 14 countries and zones as low risk -- New Zealand, Macau, Palau, Fiji, Brunei, Thailand, Mongolia, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Nauru, East Timor, and Mauritius.

It listed Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Myanmar as low-to-moderate risk.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 25,731,577 people in 187 countries and regions, with a total of 857,481 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Wednesday.

(By William Yen)

Enditem/AW



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