CORONAVIRUS/Six Filipinos test positive for COVID-19 after leaving Taiwan

09/16/2020 05:30 PM
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CNA file photo of Manila
CNA file photo of Manila

Update: Sept. 19-Contacts of 6 COVID-19 patients who traveled from Taiwan test negative

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) Six Philippine nationals who left Taiwan in recent weeks have tested positive for COVID-19 on arriving in their home country, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Wednesday.

Of the six cases, the CECC learned about two of them through the patients' employers, and the other four through the National IHR Focal Point, which is a communication channel set up under the World Health Organization's International Health Regulations, the CECC said.

The patients are five women and one man between the ages of 20 and 50, who worked as either domestic workers, factory workers or in one case a crew member on a ship, said Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中).

Two of the patients worked at the same factory but in different departments, and they did not know each other, according to CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥).

One of the patients, a crew member on a ship, came to Taiwan in mid-August and left two days after completing quarantine, while another two came to Taiwan in 2018 and the remaining three in 2019, Chuang said.

After leaving Taiwan between Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, the six tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in the Philippines, Chen said.

So far, only one of the patients has shown symptoms of the disease -- a fever -- while the rest are asymptomatic, Chen said.

To date, the CECC has identified 113 people the six patients came into contact with in Taiwan, including their employers, colleagues and friends, of whom 79 have been deemed close contacts and will be tested for COVID-19.

Of this group, 23 have already tested negative for the disease and its antibodies, Chen said.

None of the contacts identified so far have shown symptoms of COVID-19, Chen added.

The CECC will continue to check if the patients had other contacts while in Taiwan and monitor their health, it said.

Taiwan on Wednesday recorded its 500th case of COVID-19, a woman from the Philippines.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Chiang Yi-ching)

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