CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan introduces control measures amid spike in local COVID-19 cases
Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Taiwan on Sunday rolled out a slew of COVID-19 control measures for medical institutions amid the country's surging domestic infections of the virus, including lowering hospital outpatient intake and ordering patients to have a test for the virus before being hospitalized.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has ordered hospitals across the nation to reduce their outpatient intake by deferring outpatient services that are deemed not imminent, such as health checks and cosmetic surgery, CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said Sunday at a press briefing.
The measure has been introduced to ensure adequate medical capacity in the country as Taiwan has entered the community transmission stage of COVID-19, according to Chang.
Meanwhile, medical institutions have been ordered to strengthen community-based case monitoring, reporting and testing procedures, Chang said.
Patients will be required to take a COVID-19 test and stay at home to wait for their test results before they can be admitted unless their symptoms are severe enough to warrant immediate hospital treatment, he said.
Even if patients need to be admitted to hospital in an emergency, they will have to be tested before admission, Chang said.
While staying in hospital, if inpatients develop COVID-19-related symptoms such as fever, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea and respiratory symptoms, they will have to receive another test for COVID-19.
In addition, healthcare workers will be placed on enhanced health monitoring, such as daily temperature checks and those experiencing suspected symptoms should immediately report their cases and receive testing for the virus even though they tested negative for COVID-19 before admission.
Health workers who are at especially high risk for COVID-19 will be required to get a nasopharyngeal swab or a deep throat saliva swab every 5-7 days, according to Chang.
Apart from for specially authorized or emergency cases, all international medical care services will be halted, Chang added.
The CECC introduced the measures as Taiwan on Sunday confirmed 206 new domestic cases of COVID-19, its highest number of locally transmitted infections in a single day since the outbreak began early last year.
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