CORONAVIRUS/End-of-quarantine tests help keep virus from spreading: CECC
Taipei, July 13 (CNA) The policy of giving people in quarantine a COVID-19 test at the end of their isolation period has helped contain the spread of the virus, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.
Eighteen people have tested positive at the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine periods since June 22, when they became required for all travelers arriving in Taiwan and people listed as contacts of domestic COVID-19 cases.
The 18 tested negative for the virus upon their arrival in Taiwan or shortly before they began self-isolation, but a second test done at the end of their quarantine period produced the opposite result, deputy CECC chief Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) said at a press event.
That indicated that COVID-19 patients, especially those who were asymptomatic, were prevented from returning to the community when they were still infectious, Chen said.
He did not specify how many people have taken the end-of-quarantine test since June 22 or provide any information on the breakdown of who (arrivals or local contacts) tested positive and the nature of their infections.
Prior to June 22, only people arriving from countries classified by the CECC as high-risk were required to take the PCR test at the end of their quarantines.
The more comprehensive testing policy was introduced to better curb the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, which had swept across the world, from entering or spreading in the country, the CECC said at the time.
Currently, all inbound travelers are required to take three tests after they arrive in Taiwan, including one PCR test upon their arrival and another at the end of their quarantine, as well as one antigen rapid test between the 10th and 12th day of the quarantine.
Meanwhile, the CECC has imposed an entry ban on foreign nationals since a major COVID-19 outbreak began in Taiwan in mid-May, except for people with a residence permit in Taiwan or who have acquired special permission from authorities to enter the country.
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