National Theater and Concert Hall closes for disinfection

03/06/2020 07:18 PM
The National Concert Hall undergoing sanitation procedures on Friday. (Photo courtesy of the National Performing Arts Center)
The National Concert Hall undergoing sanitation procedures on Friday. (Photo courtesy of the National Performing Arts Center)

Taipei, March 6 (CNA) The National Theater and Concert Hall (NTCH) will be temporarily shut down for disinfection, the performing arts center said Friday, after an Australian composer and violist who performed there was diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease a day earlier.

All performances at the National Concert Hall were canceled on Friday and will also be canceled over the weekend, while the National Theater Hall will cancel its events on Saturday and Sunday as disinfection takes place, according to the center.

The National Theater and Concert Hall will resume operations on Monday.

NTCH General and Artistic Director Liu Yi-ju (劉怡汝) said disinfection was carried out throughout the concert hall on Friday, including the front desk, backstage, the green room, auditoriums and all shops and restaurants.

The 58-year-old Australian musician departed London Feb. 22 and entered Taiwan the next day after transiting through Bangkok. He saw a doctor on Feb. 27 after showing symptoms of coughing and a runny nose.

He performed with members of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at the National Concert Hall in Taipei on Feb. 28 and March 1, before departing Taiwan on March 2 on EVA Air's flight BR315 to Brisbane, Australia, according to Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Australian health authorities confirmed Thursday that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

A total of 103 people, including NSO members who have had close contact with the Australian, have been quarantined at home, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The CECC did not disclose the name of the musician, but Australia's national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, identified him as respected composer Brett Dean in a report Friday.

Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall

Meanwhile, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said that all NSO performances will be postponed in March, while all national-level orchestras and performing arts groups will suspend all international invitational performances.

Other performers and performance groups in the private sector should also assess any risks involved before traveling overseas, she added.

As of Friday, Taiwan had reported 45 cases of the virus, including one fatality and 12 who have been discharged from hospitals.

Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall
Photo courtesy of the The National Theater and Concert Hall

(By William Yen)

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