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Homeland Security

Taiwan proposes certified COVID-19 tests for Indonesian workers

ROC Central News Agency

12/14/2020 06:26 PM

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) Taiwan has proposed that migrant workers from Indonesia provide reports of COVID-19 nucleic acid tests conducted by government-certified institutions as a condition for resuming the entry of migrant workers from the Southeast Asian country, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Monday.

The government will continue talks with Indonesia's representative office in Taiwan on the matter in the coming few days, because Indonesia disputes the idea, said Chen, who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Indonesian officials think the proposal "sounds discriminatory," saying that COVID-19 tests in their country are all conducted by qualified hospitals, according to Chen.

Taiwan announced a two-week ban on the entry of Indonesian migrant workers from Dec. 4 in response to a recent spike in the number of imported cases from there.

This month alone, Taiwan recorded 35 imported COVID-19 cases involving migrant workers from Indonesia, 21 of which provided negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) reports but still tested positive after arriving in Taiwan, Chen said.

The high rate of positive COVID-19 tests has raised doubts about the reliability of Indonesian test reports.

As such, lifting the ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering Taiwan could put Taiwan at a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission, Chen said.

Taiwan currently employs more than 250,000 migrant workers from Indonesia.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao)

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