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Four members of Russian ballet troupe among 7 new COVID-19 cases

ROC Central News Agency

12/16/2020 05:13 PM

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Four members of a Russian ballet company that is scheduled to perform in Taiwan over the next two weeks were among the seven new imported cases of COVID-19 reported in the country Wednesday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.

The new cases bring the total number in Taiwan to 749 since the pandemic began late last year, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said at a press conference.

The four Russian nationals, who are members of the Moscow Classical Ballet, are two men and two women aged 20 to 70, Chen said.

They traveled to Taiwan on Nov. 29 with proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued within three days of their flight, and stayed at a hotel during quarantine, he said.

On Dec. 14, the day after completing quarantine, the four were tested for COVID-19 along with the rest of the company at the request of the organizer of their performances in Taiwan, udnFunLife.

The results came back positive on Wednesday, although none of them have had symptoms so far, Chen said.

The CT levels of their test were high -- with one at 31, and three at 34 -- so Chen said their ability to infect others with the disease should be "relatively low."

The CECC has arranged for the other 48 members of the company to be tested again, and if there are more positive cases, the company will have to cancel all performances in Taiwan, he said.

In Taiwan, a CT level of below 35 is considered a positive case.

After the CECC's announcement, udnFunLife said the first of the company's 12 performances in Taiwan, which was originally planned for Wednesday night, has been canceled.

Whether there will be changes to the other scheduled performances will be announced after the test results of the remaining 48 members are released, udnFunLife said.

Two other cases reported on Wednesday are two male migrant workers from the Philippines, who are both in their 20s and came to Taiwan with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result issued within three days of their flight, according to Chen.

One of the men came to Taiwan on Dec. 1 and tested positive prior to completing quarantine at a designated quarantine center. He has been asymptomatic so far, Chen said.

The other Filipino came to Taiwan on Nov. 29 to work as a fishermen, and was therefore not required to stay at a designated quarantine center, Chen said.

Instead, the man stayed at a quarantine hotel, and was tested at the request of his labor broker. He was confirmed with the disease on Wednesday and has also been asymptomatic.

One person who had traveled in the same car with the man without wearing a mask has been asked to quarantine, Chen said.

The last imported case on Wednesday is a Taiwanese man in his 40s who traveled to the United States in March to visit family, and returned to Taiwan on Dec. 8, with proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued within three days of his flight, Chen said.

While in quarantine by himself at home, the man experienced chills, a fever, and a distorted sense of smell and taste, and arrangements were made for him to be tested. He was confirmed with the disease on Wednesday, Chen said.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 749 cases of COVID-19, 657 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 612 have recovered, 130 are in the hospital and seven have died, CECC data shows.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 72.6 million people in 191 countries and regions, with more than 1.6 million fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Wednesday.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

Enditem/AW



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