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Homeland Security

Six new imported cases of COVID-19 reported in Taiwan (update)

ROC Central News Agency

12/23/2020 06:25 PM

Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) Taiwan reported six new imported cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, three from the Philippines and three from Indonesia, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan to 776, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

All of the new cases are migrant workers who had proof of a negative COVID-19 test result issued within three days of their flights to Taiwan, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, at a routine press conference.

Two of the cases from the Philippines, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 20s, came to Taiwan on Dec. 8 and tested positive prior to finishing quarantine, Chen said.

The other case from the Philippines, a woman in her 20s, came to Taiwan on Dec. 9, and also tested positive prior to finishing quarantine, Chen said.

All three of the Philippine nationals have been asymptomatic so far, Chen added.

Of the cases from Indonesia, one is a man in his 30s who came to Taiwan to work as a fisherman on Dec. 3, according to Chen.

After completing quarantine at a hotel, his labor broker arranged for a test and the results came back positive on Wednesday, Chen said.

He has shown no symptoms of COVID-19 so far. Three people who came into contact with him are in quarantine, Chen said.

Another case from Indonesia, a man in his 20s who is also a fisherman, came to Taiwan on Dec. 17. Four days after arriving the man started to cough and developed a runny nose. He was confirmed with the disease on Wednesday, Chen said.

When asked why the man was allowed to come to Taiwan even though Indonesian migrant workers have been banned entry to the country since Dec. 4, CECC deputy head Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) said that exceptions have been made for migrant fishermen.

Around 800 migrant fishermen from Indonesia have been granted entry to Taiwan since the ban was instituted, Chen said, all of whom have to be quarantined at government designated centers upon arrival and receive a test before quarantine ends.

The final case reported Wednesday is an Indonesian woman in her 30s who came to Taiwan on Nov. 27, Chen Shih-chung said.

She tested negative for COVID-19 twice during quarantine, the first time as part of a mass testing of 939 Indonesian migrant workers on Nov. 28, and the second time on Dec. 10, one day before finishing quarantine, according to Chen.

She was tested a third time for COVID-19 at her employer's request on Dec. 21, and the results came back positive on Wednesday, Chen said. The woman has shown no symptoms so far.

Three people the woman came into contact with are deemed to have been adequately protected, so they will only have to adhere to self-health management protocols instead of going into quarantine, Chen said.

According to CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the woman is considered an imported case of COVID-19 because she was in contact with very few people in Taiwan, and the CT level of her test on Dec. 21 was 34, which is relatively high.

In Taiwan, a CT level under 35 is considered a positive test.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 776 cases of COVID-19, 681 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 635 have recovered, 134 are in the hospital and seven have died, CECC data showed.

According to CECC statistics as of Wednesday, COVID-19 has infected over 77.1 million people in 191 countries and regions, with more than 1.71 million fatalities.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)


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