CORONAVIRUS/Visits to hospital patients banned in 3 cities amid COVID spread
Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Over the next two weeks, visits to patients hospitalized in Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan will not be allowed, as part of an effort to stop the spread of domestic COVID-19 infections, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.
The ban will remain in effect May 4-17 and will include long-term care facilities, said the CECC, which has been working to contain a cluster of domestic COVID-19 cases linked to a local airline and an airport hotel in Taoyuan.
In a press statement, the CECC said it was imposing the restriction, with some conditions, because it had found during its contact tracing that some of the people in the cluster had been traveling around the three cities.
As of Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the cluster linked to China Airlines (CAL) and Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport had climbed to 28, according to the CECC.
Over the next two weeks, visits to hospital patients in the three cities will only be allowed in cases where the presence of a family member is deemed necessary, the CECC said.
The exceptions include situations in which the patient is a minor; requires a relative's signature on consent forms for surgery or other procedures; or is in an emergency room, intensive care unit, or on a hospice ward, the CECC said.
Exceptions will also be made in cases where a patient's condition is deteriorating or major medical intervention is required, it said.
One fulltime caregiver per hospital patient will still be allowed, the CECC said.
At long-term care facilities, visits will be permitted only if the resident develops psychological problems, the CECC said, citing examples such as irritability and insomnia.
Visitors who are allowed into such facilities and hospitals in the three cities must wear a face masks at all times, or risk a fine NT$3,000 (US$106) to NT$15,000, under the Communicable Disease Control Act, the CECC said.
In the period between Jan. 27 and Feb. 9, the CECC had imposed a similar ban on visiting hospital patients in the three cities, amid a domestic COVID-19 cluster that started at Taoyuan General Hospital on Jan. 12 and grew to 21 cases.
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