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CECC reconsidering home quarantine for COVID-19 patients

ROC Central News Agency

05/29/2021 09:34 PM

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) People with chronic health problems who test positive for COVID-19 test may no longer be allowed to quarantine at home, even it is a mild or asymptomatic case, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

At a press briefing, CECC official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said the epidemic center is currently reconsidering its guidelines for home quarantine, in light of the fact that there have been some COVID-19 deaths among those patients.

The issue is still being discussed with various health experts, but the CECC is thinking of revising its protocols to allow home quarantine only in mild or asymptomatic cases where the person is under the age of 60 and has no preexisting health conditions, Lo said.

For those diagnosed via a rapid test, the plan is to place them in a government-designated quarantine center, or in a hospital, and monitor their health on a case-by-case basis, he said.

On the question of how to better monitor the health of COVID-19 patients in quarantine at home and in government centers, Lo said such persons must contact health authorities immediately if they begin experiencing shortness of breath, chest pains, or an altered state of consciousness.

COVID-19 patients who are not hospitalized should also regularly check their oxygen levels, using a pulse oximeter, and report immediately to health authorities if the oxygen reading is below 95 percent, he said.

Such devices are available at government-designated quarantine centers and will also be provided to patients in home quarantine, Lo said, advising against panic buying.

Taiwan on Saturday reported 21 COVID-19 deaths -- 13 men and eight women ranging in age from their 30s to 90s. According to the CECC, they developed symptoms between May 11 and 25, and only two had no chronic illnesses.

One of them was a man in his 30s, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday after recently developing symptoms of a cough, itchy throat and loss of taste, and he died on Thursday, the CECC said.

The other was a woman in her 90s who was hospitalized earlier in the week with symptoms of chest pain and difficulty breathing, the CECC said, adding that she died on Friday.

To date, Taiwan has reported 99 deaths from COVID-19, including 82 in the last week.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chiang Huei-chun and Ko Lin)

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