CORONAVIRUS/People possibly exposed to COVID-19 urged to take free rapid test

03/29/2022 06:59 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) People in Taiwan who think they may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus are advised to get a free rapid test at a designated clinic, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

The free test kits are available at 540 clinics nationwide, which can be located on an interactive CECC map, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.

Citing a rise in untraceable domestic cases in recent days, Chuang said rapid testing is advised for people living in areas where there are high numbers of cases, individuals who may have come into contact with a confirmed infected person, and those who may have an overlapping footprint with a COVID-19 case.

People who get a positive rapid test result should go to the nearest hospital or medical facility that offers COVID-19 PCR testing services, he said.

The CECC made the appeal for at-risk individuals to get tested, amid a recent rise in untraceable domestic COVID-19 cases.

The increase in cases that have no apparent links to existing domestic clusters in Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung and elsewhere is "a big warning sign," Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Tuesday.

The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of March 29, Taiwan recorded 1,123 domestic cases in 2022, while the total number of imported cases rose to 7,212 from 2,375 on Dec. 31.
The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of March 29, Taiwan recorded 1,123 domestic cases in 2022, while the total number of imported cases rose to 7,212 from 2,375 on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior said Tuesday that organizers and participants in the annual Dajia Mazu procession -- one of Taiwan's biggest religious events -- will be required this year to show proof of three COVID-19 vaccine shots.

During the procession, which starts in Taichung on April 8, participants will be advised against the traditional practice of crawling under the Mazu statue palanquin to seek blessings, the ministry said, citing social distancing protocols.

In a press release, the ministry also urged people to observe COVID-19 protocols during the long Tomb Sweeping holiday weekend April 2-5.

Those who are planning to visit cemeteries should avoid doing so during peak hours, and when they do go out, they should wear masks and maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, the ministry said.

Taiwan reported 33 new domestic COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chen Chun-hua and Matthew Mazzetta)

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