CORONAVIRUS/COVID cluster at Taoyuan Farglory Free Trade Zone climbs to 100 cases

01/23/2022 06:42 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung hosts Sunday
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung hosts Sunday's COVID-19 press briefing, with CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (second left), Centers for Disease Control Director-General Chou Jih-haw (second right) and his two deputies Chuang Jen-hsiang (left) and Lo Yi-chun. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) An additional 30 people who work at the Farglory Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Taoyuan have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of cases reported there to 100, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

New cases linked to Farglory

The 30 cases are among the 52 new domestic infections confirmed Sunday and include 17 employees at Ingrasys Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press briefing.

The first two COVID-19 cases recorded in the Farglory FTZ were employees at an Askey Computer Corp. factory. They tested positive on Friday, and are believed to have contracted the disease when dining at a Tasty steakhouse in Taoyuan on Jan. 9, where a cluster was identified earlier this month.

The cluster at the steakhouse is linked to the wider outbreak of COVID-19 in the city, which originated from Taoyuan International Airport and involves the Omicron variant.

According to Chen, the CECC has completed tests on all personnel in the Farglory FTZ "value-added zone," where both Ingrasys Technology and Askey Computer Corp. operate, and the zone has been temporarily closed.

Another 4,500 people who work in other areas of the Farglory FTZ will be tested Monday, Chen said.

An additional two cases related to the steakhouse cluster were recorded Sunday, involving a customer who dined there on Jan. 9 and the contact of a previously confirmed case, Chen said.

Cluster infections in Kaohsiung

Another 15 COVID-19 cases confirmed Sunday are related to the Port of Kaohsiung, bringing the number of cases linked to the cluster there to 43, CECC data shows.

Kaohsiung health authorities previously speculated that the cluster could have begun with a maintenance worker at the port who came into contact with people on board a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel, though this has not yet been confirmed.

The figures do not include four cases reclassified as domestic in early January, nor retroactively removed cases. The number of locally transmitted infections recorded in 2022 totaled 303 as of Jan. 23.
The figures do not include four cases reclassified as domestic in early January, nor retroactively removed cases. The number of locally transmitted infections recorded in 2022 totaled 303 as of Jan. 23.

The five remaining COVID-19 cases include a man who works at a hotel in Jiaoxi District of Yilan County, who tested positive after showing symptoms. His source of infection is still unknown, Chen said.

The other four are a Taipei man who also tested positive after showing symptoms, and his mother, sister and friend. His sister is a pastry chef working at Grand Hotel Taipei, and the family lives in Shilin District of the capital. The man's friend lives in New Taipei.

Health authorities are still looking into how they contracted the disease, Chen said.

Four of the new domestic cases reported Sunday have been classified as breakthrough infections, one individual had received a Pfizer-BioNTech jab, and two children under the age of 10 were not vaccinated. The vaccination status of the remaining cases is still being investigated.

Imported cases

In addition to the domestic cases, Taiwan also recorded 37 imported cases on Sunday. Of these, 17 tested positive upon arrival in the country on Saturday, and the other 20 were travelers who tested positive during quarantine, according to the CECC.

The CECC did not release any information regarding the vaccination status of the imported cases.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed 18,325 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,903 were domestic infections.

With no deaths reported Sunday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country remained at 851.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

Enditem/AW

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