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Homeland Security

Taiwan reports four new imported cases of COVID-19

ROC Central News Agency

12/19/2020 06:25 PM

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Four additional imported COVID-19 cases were reported in Taiwan on Saturday, boosting the number of total cases to 763 in the country since the pandemic hit Taiwan in early 2020, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The four cases involve citizens of Indonesia, Myanmar and India and a Taiwanese who was in the United States, who all presented proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued within 72 hours of boarding their flights as required, the center said in a statement.

The Indonesian, a man in his 20s, arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 1 to begin work on a fishing boat.

After completing his mandatory 14-day quarantine at a hotel, he took a COVID-19 test arranged by his broker on Thursday, and the result came back positive Saturday, though he was asymptomatic, the center said.

One individual known to have had contact with the Indonesian national has been instructed to follow self-health management protocols, meaning he needs to wear a mask at all times and monitor his temperature twice a day, the center said.

The person from Myanmar, a man in his 30s who arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 2, also took a test arranged by his broker on Thursday after getting out of quarantine that turned out positive Saturday, the CECC said.

A total of 35 individuals traveled on the same bus with the man, and 34 are now in quarantine and one is required to observe self-health management.

The Taiwanese woman who arrived from the United States on Dec. 9 started coughing up phlegm on Monday during her mandatory quarantine and was confirmed as having COVID-19 on Saturday based on a test she took Wednesday, the CECC said.

Because the woman, who is in her 20s, was in a room by herself during her quarantine, and all medical workers known to have had contact with her used personal protective equipment, there was no need for contact tracing, the center said.

The fourth case was an Indian seaman, who arrived in Taiwan on Oct. 21 from the South Asian country.

The Indian, who is in his 30s, had been working on a Taiwanese boat since Nov. 26 until Wednesday, when his broker had him take a COVID-19 test because he planned to return home in the coming days. The result came back positive on Saturday.

The man is now in the hospital. Of the 47 individuals known to have had contact with him, 21 are now in quarantine and 26 have been instructed to follow self-health management protocols, according to the CECC.

The 21 individuals were tested for COVID-19 on Saturday, and 20 had negative results while the other result is pending, the center said.

Despite nearly two months elapsing since the man was in another country, the CECC is still classifying his case as "imported" because there is no evidence of infection on the fishing boat or when he was in a quarantine hotel in Taiwan before starting work.

CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press conference that the Indian was "probably infected in India," but 18 workers at the hotel in Taiwan where he stayed for weeks will be tested to determine if there was an infection there.

Chuang said the CECC will also conduct COVID-19 antibody tests on the 21 crew members to see if anyone on the vessel had been infected with COVID-19 in the past.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 763 cases of COVID-19, 671 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 625 have recovered, 131 are in the hospital and seven have died, CECC data showed.

According to CECC statistics as of Saturday, COVID-19 has infected over 74.7 million people in 191 countries and regions, with more than 1.67 million fatalities.

(By Chung Yu-chen)


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