CORONAVIRUS/Taipei reports 41 COVID-19 cases at Huannan Market in Wanhua district

07/02/2021 01:01 PM
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Disinfection workers at the Huannan Market in Taipei
Disinfection workers at the Huannan Market in Taipei's Huannan Market on Friday. CNA photo July 2, 2021

Taipei, July 2 (CNA) The Huannan Market in Taipei's Wanhua District is undergoing a large-scale disinfection of its premises after 41 vendors there tested positive for COVID-19, the city's Market Administration Office said on Friday.

The market will cease operations until July 5, while those confirmed as having caught the disease via a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Thursday are being quarantined, the administration said.

The confirmed cases were detected after the city on Thursday began large-scale PCR testing of all vendors at the site in response to the cluster infections reported at Wanhua's First Fruit & Vegetable Wholesale Market in late June.

The cluster situation has since prompted the city to require that all employees and vendors at the market present a negative COVID-19 test before they can enter.

According to the administration, the city estimated that some 11,200 individuals at the three markets are expected to be tested for the disease in the next three days.

Citing Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said the government is working diligently with the Taipei City government and all relevant agencies to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in the city's wholesale markets.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中, center) and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲, right) hold a press conference held at Huannan Market on Friday. CNA photo July 2, 2021
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中, center) and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲, right) hold a press conference held at Huannan Market on Friday. CNA photo July 2, 2021

Speaking at a press event at Huannan Market Friday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), assured the public that all necessary measures will be carried out to monitor and contain the COVID-19 situation at Huannan Market.

Using the government's contact tracing app, text messages are now being sent to anyone who has visited the market over the past few days to urge them to get tested for COVID-19 so that all the contacts can be identified as soon as possible, Chen said.

The CECC expects to complete this task and have all the contacts identified and quarantined by Saturday, while a special command center will be set up at Huannan Market to monitor the situation there.

The area within the Wanban Bridge, Xizang Road, the Huacui Bridge and the Huanhe Expressway, where people were in the vicinity will receive a text message asking them to take a COVID-19 test because of the outbreak at Huannan Market. Courtesy of the CECC
The area within the Wanban Bridge, Xizang Road, the Huacui Bridge and the Huanhe Expressway, where people were in the vicinity will receive a text message asking them to take a COVID-19 test because of the outbreak at Huannan Market. Courtesy of the CECC

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who was also at the scene, said the decision to close the popular market was made to prevent a further spread of the disease.

Ko, meanwhile, urged vendors and workers in the city's wholesale markets to get inoculated as soon as possible.

(By Liu Chien-pang, Lai Yu-chen and Ko Lin)

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