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Taipei reports 41 COVID-19 cases at Huannan Market in Wanhua district

ROC Central News Agency

07/02/2021 01:01 PM

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) The Huannan Market in Taipei's Wanhua District is undergoing a large-scale disinfection of its premises after 41 vendors there tested positive for COVID-19, the city's Market Administration Office said on Friday.

The market will cease operations until July 5, while those confirmed as having caught the disease via a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Thursday are being quarantined, the administration said.

The confirmed cases were detected after the city on Thursday began large-scale PCR testing of all vendors at the site in response to the cluster infections reported at Wanhua's First Fruit & Vegetable Wholesale Market in late June.

The cluster situation has since prompted the city to require that all employees and vendors at the market present a negative COVID-19 test before they can enter.

According to the administration, the city estimated that some 11,200 individuals at the three markets are expected to be tested for the disease in the next three days.

Citing Premier Su Tseng-chang (θ˜‡θ²žζ˜Œ), Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (ηΎ…η§‰ζˆ) said the government is working diligently with the Taipei City government and all relevant agencies to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in the city's wholesale markets.

Speaking at a press event at Huannan Market Friday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (ι™³ζ™‚δΈ­), who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), assured the public that all necessary measures will be carried out to monitor and contain the COVID-19 situation at Huannan Market.

Using the government's contact tracing app, text messages are now being sent to anyone who has visited the market over the past few days to urge them to get tested for COVID-19 so that all the contacts can be identified as soon as possible, Chen said.

The CECC expects to complete this task and have all the contacts identified and quarantined by Saturday, while a special command center will be set up at Huannan Market to monitor the situation there.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (ζŸ―ζ–‡ε“²), who was also at the scene, said the decision to close the popular market was made to prevent a further spread of the disease.

Ko, meanwhile, urged vendors and workers in the city's wholesale markets to get inoculated as soon as possible.

(By Liu Chien-pang, Lai Yu-chen and Ko Lin)

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