Taiwan's latest Wuhan virus patient was not listed for evacuation from China

02/05/2020 11:25 PM

Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) The most recent confirmed case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Taiwan is a man who was evacuated from China on Monday, but the patient was not listed among the 244 people Taiwan asked to have sent back from Wuhan City, a Taiwanese group involved in the effort said Wednesday.

Late Feb. 3, a charter flight carrying 247 Taiwanese arrived in Taipei from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, and they have since been in quarantine at three separate facilities across the country.

Three of the evacuees, including the man who tested positive on Tuesday in Taiwan's latest case, were not on the list provided by Taiwan to Chinese authorities for evacuation, Hsu Cheng-wen (徐正文), the head of a private group that helped coordinate the effort, told the media Wednesday.

The 247 evacuees had been stuck in Wuhan since Jan. 23 after the city of 11 million people went into lockdown to try to contain the deadly coronavirus.

Earlier in the day, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) disclosed similar information in a statement, but did not say how or why the three people were allowed to board the evacuation charter flight.

Due in part to that problem, Taiwan has halted its plans to evacuate a second group of Taiwanese from China sometime over the next two days, according to MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正).

The other reasons for the suspension of the plan include Taiwan's level of preparedness and capacity to handle a large group of people who are at high risk of infection with the virus, he said.

As of Wednesday, over 400 people had died of the coronavirus and more than 20,000 had been infected, including 11 in Taiwan. The vast majority of the cases have occurred in China.

(ByWang Yang-yu, Miao Zhon-han and Emerson Lim) Enditem/pc

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