Taiwanese from Diamond Princess show no signs of coronavirus: CECC

02/22/2020 06:47 PM

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) The 19 Taiwan nationals evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan all tested negative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the initial checks, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

The 19 Taiwanese arrived in Taiwan from Tokyo Friday night on a special charter flight that was also carrying four medical personnel and seven flight crew members.

They were immediately taken to three different hospitals in Taipei and Taoyuan cities for testing, and the 19 evacuees were placed in negative-pressure isolation units, Wang Pi-Sheng (王必勝), director of the Hospital and Social Welfare Organizations Administration Commission, told reporters at a briefing in Taipei.

None of 19 passengers from the Diamond Princess had a fever or any other symptoms of the COVID-19, Wang said.

The initial tests for the virus all came back negative, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) confirmed later Saturday.

Meanwhile, their luggage has been disinfected and is being quarantined for 14 days to minimize the risk of contagion, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Ho Chi-kung (何啟功) said.

According to the CECC, the 19 people will be tested again at 11:30 p.m. Saturday for COVID-19, and the results will be released Sunday afternoon.

(By Wu Hsin-yun, Chang Min-hsuan and Ko Lin)

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