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Homeland Security

Total COVID-19 cases in Taiwan pass 700 with 22 migrant workers positive

ROC Central News Agency

12/06/2020 05:29 PM

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) A total of 22 migrant workers, including 20 from Indonesia and two from the Philippines, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 716, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

All of the cases reported Sunday have been classified as imported, said Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, at a press conference that day.

Of the cases from Indonesia, 17 were confirmed with the disease after the CECC tested all Indonesian migrant workers who entered Taiwan between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3, with the exception of fishermen, Chen said.

The CECC decided to test this group of 642 Indonesian nationals because of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases from that country, which has prompted Taiwan to provisionally suspend entry of Indonesian migrant workers from Dec. 4-17, he said.

According to CECC data, over 70 Indonesians in Taiwan have been confirmed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks. Of the 135 COVID-19 patients who are currently receiving treatment in Taiwan, 93 are from Indonesia.

This is the second mass testing of Indonesian migrant workers the CECC has conducted. Previously, all 939 Indonesian migrant workers in designated quarantine centers were tested on Nov. 28, with 23 testing positive.

The 17 Indonesian migrant workers who were confirmed with the disease on Sunday were 15 women and two men aged 20-50, Chen said.

Only two of the migrant workers have displayed symptoms of COVID-19, including one who had a stuffy nose and diarrhea, and another who experienced muscle soreness, joint pain, vomiting and an altered sense of taste, said Chen.

Another Indonesian migrant worker who was confirmed with COVID-19 on Sunday is a woman in her 30s who came to Taiwan to work on Nov. 12, Chen said.

She tested negative for COVID-19 on Nov. 25, a day before finishing quarantine, but when her employer arranged another test on Dec. 4, the results came back positive, Chen said.

The two remaining cases from Indonesia are two men in their 30s and 40s, who arrived in Taiwan on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, respectively, Chen said.

As they were set to work as fishermen, the men were not required to quarantine at designated government centers and were instead in quarantine hotels.

Both were tested for COVID-19 a day after finishing quarantine at the request of their labor brokers, and their results came back positive on Sunday, Chen said.

Five people who had contact with one of the men have been asked to quarantine, said Chen.

Meanwhile, the two cases from the Philippines were a man and a woman in their 20s who went into quarantine at a designated center after arriving in Taiwan, Chen said.

The woman tested negative prior to finishing quarantine, but received another test arranged by her labor broker afterwards and the results were positive this time, Chen said.

The man tested positive prior to finishing quarantine, Chen said, adding that neither of the Philippine nationals have had symptoms of COVID-19.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 716 cases of COVID-19, with 624 classified as imported. Of the total, 574 have recovered, seven have died and 135 are in hospital, CECC data shows.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 66.5 million people in 191 countries and regions, with more than 1.5 million fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Sunday.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)


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