Taichung company suspends all operations due to coronavirus scare

02/18/2020 10:42 PM
Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung
Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung

Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) A company in Taichung's Tanzi District said it has suspended all business Tuesday until March 1 after a family member of one of its employees was confirmed as having contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The workers have been instructed to go home and self-quarantine, during which time the company will not take any orders or ship any products, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

According to local news reports, the company was thoroughly disinfected by Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau earlier in the day, with some speculating that it is in the woodworking sector.

Taiwan officials declined to confirm if the employee mentioned in the company's statement was a family member of a 61-year-old man who offered limousine service, who on Sunday became Taiwan's first death from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

At a press briefing Tuesday, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said only that a man, whose wife is the niece of a confirmed Wuhan virus patient, had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and as a result, 58 people from the company where the man works have been placed in "home isolation" for 14 days.

Test results on all 58 have come back negative, with Chen predicting "the infection may not spread further."

(By Chen Wei-ting, Chen Yi-hsuan and Ko Lin)

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