WUHAN VIRUS/Taiwan extends highest travel warning to HK, Macau over epidemic

02/11/2020 06:17 PM

Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday extended its highest travel warning to Hong Kong and Macau while raising the alert level for Singapore and Thailand as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, continues to spread around the world.

The CECC raised its travel advisory for Hong Kong and Macau from a Level 2 alert to the highest Level 3 alert after Hong Kong declared community outbreaks and clusters in the territory, announced CECC Commander Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中).

The inclusion of the two Chinese special administrative regions means all China is now listed at Level 3, which urges people to avoid unnecessary travel to the destination.

Also Tuesday, the travel warning issued on Singapore was upgraded to Level 2, which calls on visitors to take extra precautions when traveling to a destination.

The decision was made after Singaporean authorities named several clusters of locally transmitted coronavirus cases including one business event that has been linked to a number of coronavirus cases in other countries, the CECC said.

The CECC also placed Thailand on the lowest Level 1 of its travel warning list Tuesday, calling on Taiwanese to exercise normal precautions while in Thailand.

The warning has been issued because the Southeast Asian country has reported more than 30 confirmed cases so far and yet has not raised its responsive epidemic control and quarantine measures against Chinese tourists and its borders remain open to Chinese nationals, CECC added.

Meanwhile, according to the CECC, 95 new 2019-nCoV suspected cases were reported in Taiwan on Monday, bringing the total number of people suspected of being infected to 1,617, 18 of whom have been confirmed and 1,445 ruled out.

The unconfirmed cases remain in hospital quarantine, with 78 having tested negative but requiring further testing, while the others are still undergoing testing, according to the CECC.

One of the 18 confirmed infected patients was discharged from hospital on Feb. 6 while another is expected to be later this week, with the remaining 16 are all in stable condition, the CECC added.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Joseph Yeh)

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