CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports first local doctor to get COVID-19

01/12/2021 03:08 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (right) hosts Tuesday
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (right) hosts Tuesday's COVID-19 press briefing. CNA photo Jan. 12, 2021

Update: First doctor in Taiwan to get COVID-19 among 4 new cases

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) A doctor in a northern Taiwan hospital has been confirmed as one of two locally infected COVID-19 cases in Taiwan Tuesday, the first time a local physician has come down with the disease since the outbreak began.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) believes the male doctor, who is in his 30s, was infected with the coronavirus while he was treating a confirmed COVID-19 patient in the hospital where he works.

The CECC did not identify the name of the hospital and where it was located.

The doctor's girlfriend, a nurse who works in the same hospital, later tested positive for the disease when the doctor's contacts outside the hospital were traced.

The nurse lives with the doctor, and the CECC believed she contracted the disease from her boyfriend rather than from treating patients at the hospital.

Health authorities identified 464 people with whom the doctor may have come in contact with at the hospital, but they all tested negative for the disease, leading the CECC to rule out the possibility of a cluster infection.

The CECC also traced 56 contacts with the doctor outside the hospital, and 14 had been tested as of Tuesday morning. One test came back positive -- that of the doctor's girlfriend -- while the results for the other 13 were not yet available.

Aside from the two domestic cases reported Tuesday, there were an additional two imported cases. The four additional cases brought the total number of the cases in the country to 838, CECC numbers showed.

The CECC's announcement came after local media reported a mass evacuation of patients from a northern Taiwan hospital late Monday, suggesting that there could be COVID-19 coronavirus infection within the hospital.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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