Taiwan bans entry of Chinese nationals from Guangdong Province

02/01/2020 10:24 PM
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Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung
Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung

Taipei, Feb. 1 (CNA) Chinese nationals from Guangdong Province will be prohibited entry into Taiwan starting Sunday, while travelers who have recently been there will be subject to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

At a press conference Saturday evening, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the CECC has declared a Level 2 endemic in the province, where a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has sickened more than 520 people to date.

In making the designation, Chen said the CECC gave consideration to such factors as the large number of cases in the province, evidence of community-level transmission of the virus, and the high volume of travel between Guangdong and Taiwan.

In addition to home-quarantining travelers returning from the province, those found with such symptoms as a fever or difficulty breathing will be immediately tested for the virus, and quarantined at designated medical facilities if a positive diagnosis is made, Chen said.

The health minister also provided updates on the 10 Taiwanese citizens who have been diagnosed with the virus, noting that all are in stable condition and that only one is currently using supplemental oxygen.

Another of the patients has recovered and has twice tested negative for the virus in recent days, Chen said.

Meanwhile, 492 people who came in contact with the 10 confirmed cases of the virus are currently being monitored. Of them, 34 have reported symptoms and six are still awaiting conclusive test results.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Matthew Mazzetta)

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