WUHAN VIRUS/Evacuated Taiwanese in quarantine, three in hospital

02/04/2020 12:51 PM
Photo courtesy of a passenger
Photo courtesy of a passenger

Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) Three of the 247 Taiwanese evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan late Monday have been put into isolation wards around Taiwan while the others have been quarantined at three facilities, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

The evacuees were examined for three hours at Taoyuan International Airport after their China Eastern charter landed at 11:40 p.m., and one was found to have a fever, two had sore throats, and one child, accompanied by a parent, had a stomach ache, the CECC said.

The people with a fever and sore throats were sent to hospital isolation wards, and the parent and child were also being checked at the hospital, according to Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.

Of the remaining evacuees, 69 were sent to a facility in central Taiwan, 28 were sent to a venue in Wulai, and 145 were quarantined in Linkou District in New Taipei, and they were settled in their temporary homes by 6 a.m., Chen said.

The child with the stomach ache and parent were later determined to not have the coronavirus and were also quarantined, though it was unclear which facility they were sent to.

All of the people who have been quarantined will have their temperatures taken twice a day during the 14-day quarantine period and be sent to hospitals if they show suspected symptoms of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Chen said.

They have been assigned separate rooms and will be required to stay in their rooms most of the time, Chen said, and he assured the public they will not be allowed to go outside and come in contact with others.

He also said the airport was not at risk of the spread of the coronavirus because the plane carrying the evacuees taxied directly to an isolated aircraft maintenance area, and all passenger luggage and the buses transporting them were disinfected.

Before Monday night's evacuation, there were said to be roughly 500 Taiwanese nationals stranded in Wuhan, which, as the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, has been put in lockdown.

There had been speculation more Taiwanese would be evacuated Wednesday, but Tsai Chih-ju (蔡志儒), an official with Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said at Tuesday's press briefing there were no plans for such a flight.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 400 people have died of the coronavirus and more than 20,000 have been infected, with the vast majority of the cases occurring in China.

(By Chen Wei-ting, Chang Ming-hsuan and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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