CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan confirms six new imported cases of COVID-19

03/31/2021 05:22 PM
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The CECC
The CECC's Wednesday press briefing. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Taiwan on Wednesday confirmed six new imported cases of COVID-19 -- two from Indonesia and one each from the United States, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Bangladesh -- according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The cases from Indonesia involved Indonesian nationals in their 20s who came to Taiwan on March 4 to work as fishermen, the CECC said in a statement.

They tested negative for COVID-19 twice after arriving in Taiwan, on March 17 and March 24, but they were required to quarantine again after five of their compatriots who were in the same vehicle with them on the way to a hospital to get tested were found to have the disease on March 27, the CECC said.

On March 29, their labor broker arranged for them to get a COVID-19 test at a hospital, and they were confirmed as having the disease on Wednesday, the CECC said.

The broker who arranged the test will be fined, according to the CECC, because people have to get permission from local health authorities before they can leave quarantine.

The case from the U.S., meanwhile, involved a Taiwanese man in his 70s who returned from the U.S. to Taiwan on Jan. 3.

He took a self-paid COVID-19 test at a hospital on March 29 in preparation to leave Taiwan, and it came back positive, with a CT value of 31.

CT values can give some indication of the viral load in the patient. In most cases, the higher the CT value the lower the viral loads (especially as the CT value reaches the mid or high 30s).

A second test taken the next day showed a CT value of 36, and the man also tested positive for IgM and IgG antibodies, which the CECC said indicated he was infected in the U.S.

The CECC has identified 53 contacts the man had in Taiwan, 12 of whom have been required to quarantine and the rest asked to follow self-health management protocols.

Seventeen of the contacts have tested negative for COVID-19, while tests of the other contacts are ongoing, the CECC said.

Of the three remaining cases, one involved a Burmese man in his 30s who traveled to Taiwan on March 14 to work as a fisherman. He was confirmed as having COVID-19 after completing his 14-day quarantine, though he has had no symptoms so far.

The case from Ethiopia is a Taiwanese man in his 20s who returned on March 28. He was tested for COVID-19 after arriving because he told airport personnel he had a cough and an altered sense of smell in Ethiopia, according to the CECC.

His first test came back negative, but a follow-up test taken two days later came back positive.

The final case reported Wednesday involved a Bangladeshi woman in her 20s who came to study in Taiwan on March 26. She developed a cough during quarantine and was confirmed with COVID-19 after being tested, the CECC said.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 1,030 cases of COVID-19, 914 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 981 patients have recovered, 10 have died and 39 are in the hospital, according to CECC statistics as of Wednesday.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 127.9 million people in 193 countries and regions, with more than 2.8 million fatalities, CECC data shows.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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