CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 7 new imported COVID-19 cases Saturday

01/16/2021 04:52 PM
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CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang. CNA photo Jan. 16, 2021
CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang. CNA photo Jan. 16, 2021

Update: Taiwan reports one new domestic COVID-19 case from hospital

Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Taiwan on Saturday reported seven additional imported COVID-19 cases that originated in the Philippines, Indonesia, the United States, South Africa and Russia, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 850 in the country since the pandemic began.

Three of the seven cases involved workers from the Philippines, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Two involved Filipino workers in their 20s who arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 24 and presented negative test reports from within three days of their departure before boarding their flight for Taiwan, the CECC said.

They then took a test in Taiwan on Jan. 6 before their mandatory quarantine ended, and the results were negative, the CECC said. But the results of other tests taken Thursday after their "self-health management" period ended came back positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

The two Filipinos have not shown any symptoms since arriving in the country and did not have contact with anybody in Taiwan and therefore nobody has to be traced, the CECC said.

The other Filipino determined to have contracted the disease was a man in his 40s who arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 30 to work on a fishing boat. He took a test on Thursday as his quarantine period was ending and the results came back positive on Saturday.

All six people he came in contact with were well protected, the CECC said, and they only have to follow self-health management protocols -- which require them to wear a mask at all times and take their temperatures twice a day -- instead of going into quarantine.

The case from Russia involved a Russian man in his 50s, who arrived in Taiwan on Jan. 5 to work here. He presented a negative test report upon arrival, and checked into a quarantine hotel for the standard 14-day quarantine, the CECC said.

On Wednesday, however, he developed an abnormal sense of smell and took a test arranged by health authorities, and he was determined to have COVID-19 on Saturday, the CECC said.

Because the hospital staffers who came in contact with the Russian were well protected, no contacts have to be traced, the CECC said.

The case originating in Indonesian involved an Indonesian worker in his 20s who arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 27 and presented a negative test report upon arrival.

After he finished his mandatory quarantine on Jan. 11, he and five other Indonesian workers took a test the same day. Two were found to have tested positive on Wednesday, while the other four tested negative.

The four took another test Thursday, and the results for one of them came back positive on Saturday, the CECC said. That individual has not shown any COVID-19 symptoms since arriving in Taiwan.

Of the five people determined to have contact with the Indonesian worker, three tested negative for COVID-19 and the other two, who were drivers of quarantine buses and well protected, were only asked to follow self-health management protocols, the CECC said.

The case originating in the United States involved a Taiwanese national in her 40s who returned to Taiwan with an older relative in her 70s on Jan. 3, and they both presented negative reports upon arrival.

The older family member tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 5, while the younger woman tested negative at that time, the CECC said.

While in home quarantine, however, she developed an abnormal sense of smell, and a test taken by health authorities on Wednesday turned up positive on Saturday, the CECC said.

The remaining case involved a Taiwanese man in his 30s who returned to Taiwan on Dec. 16 from South Africa, where he had worked for a long time.

The man developed diarrhea on Jan. 6 during his self-health management period, and the test he took Thursday came back positive on Saturday, the CECC said.

The CECC said health authorities traced five contacts, placing four in home quarantine and one in self-health management.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 850 cases of COVID-19, with 753 classified as imported. Of the total, 751 have recovered, seven have died and 92 remain in the hospital, CECC data showed.

As the pandemic continues, COVID-19 has infected about 93.76 million people in 193 countries and regions, with more than 2.01 million fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Saturday.

(By Frances Huang)

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