CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 restrictions tightened in Taoyuan amid worry over Delta cases

09/03/2021 08:25 PM
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Unsplash photo for illustrative purpose only
Unsplash photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday that more stringent COVID-19 prevention measures were being imposed in Taoyuan with immediate effect, as it had confirmed one case of the Delta variant there, with a possibility of others.

One of the two domestic COVID-19 cases reported Friday was the son of a pilot, who had tested positive for the disease Aug. 28 and was confirmed Sept. 1 to have been infected with the Delta variant of the virus, the CECC said.

Since Aug. 28, three EVA Airways pilots have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been classified as imported cases, according to the CECC.

With the son of one of them now infected, his school has been closed, and the 2,400 students and staff will be tested for COVID-19, the CECC said.

All of the student's classmates and their households, as well as others at the school who had been using his classroom, have been placed in quarantine for 14 days, the CECC said, but it did not disclose the number of people.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung shows a list of people to be placed in quarantine because of possible contact with case No. 16122, the son of one of the pilots. Photo courtesy of the CECC
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung shows a list of people to be placed in quarantine because of possible contact with case No. 16122, the son of one of the pilots. Photo courtesy of the CECC

In addition, given the possibility of a spread of the Delta variant in Taoyuan, indoor gatherings in the northern Taiwan city will be limited to 50 instead of 80, and the cap on outdoor gatherings will be reduced from 300 to 100, the CECC said.

Shops and supermarkets in Taoyuan are now required to tighten measures to ensure social distancing and to limit their number of customers, the CECC added.

Visits to hospital patients and care home residents in Taoyuan have also been suspended, as part of the stricter preventative measures, according to the CECC.

Meanwhile, the quarantine rules pertaining to flight crews have been adjusted, with immediate effect, the CECC said, adding that it had revised its plans to impose the regulations on Sept. 15.

Under the new rules, crew members on long-haul flights who have not been fully vaccinated will have to quarantine for seven days, and if they test negative for COVID-19 on the last day, they will be allowed to observe enhanced self-health management for seven days, during which they will be tested twice, the CECC said.

For those who are fully vaccinated, the quarantine period will be five days, and if they test negative on the fifth day, they will have to observe enhanced self-health management for nine days and get tested two more times, according to the CECC.

Crew members on short flights are not required to quarantine, but they will now have to be tested every seven days and to observe enhanced self-health management for seven days if they are fully vaccinated, and for 14 days if they are not, the CECC said.

For crew members, enhanced self-health management means they are not allowed to use public transport and must avoid contact with other people, the center said.

The CECC said it has instructed EVA Airways to test and quarantine for 14 days all of its employees who had worked on flights to Chicago since Aug. 21.

Prior to Friday, the CECC's regulations for long-haul flight crews were seven days of self-health management for those fully vaccinated, five days of quarantine for those who had received one shot, and seven days quarantine for the unvaccinated.

For those on short flights, fully vaccinated members were required only to monitor their health for 14 days, while unvaccinated ones had to observe self-health management for 14 days. They all had to be tested every two weeks.

(By Yeh Chen, Chen chieh-ling, Chang Ming-hsuan and Kay Liu)

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