CORONAVIRUS/Over 120 people infected by COVID-19 at Taipei senior care home

05/14/2022 06:52 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Over 120 residents and staffers at a senior care home in Taipei have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with three of them having died from the disease, the city's Department of Social Welfare said Saturday.

The COVID-19 cluster has so far infected 126 people, consisting of 49 employees and 77 senior residents, at Haoran Senior Citizens Home in Beitou District, the department said.

Of the seniors confirmed with COVID-19, seven have been hospitalized while 67 remain at Haoran but are being closely cared for virtually by doctors at Taipei City Hospital's Yangming Branch, it added. The other three have since died.

Tung Fu-chuang (童富泉), who heads the care home, told CNA that the center's first case of COVID-19 was an employee on April 23, and the first resident who got COVID-19 then tested positive on May 1.

As COVID-19 began to spread at the care home, Tung said those who needed immediate medical attention were sent to the hospital for treatment, while others with light symptoms or were asymptomatic were diagnosed virtually by doctors and administered with the necessary medication.

According to Tung, there are currently a total of 335 seniors at Haoran, who have since been divided into three separate quarters to prevent the risk of a further cross-infection.

One area, which is coded red, is reserved for confirmed patients, he said, while the area in yellow is for those who could likely later test positive and green is the safe zone.

The Haoran head said the Ministry and Health Welfare's Taipei disease control center had agreed to allow 23 of the care home's employees with COVID-19 who were asymptomatic or had light symptoms to return to work.

"Our staffers are extremely hardworking, especially in such difficult times, and insisted on getting back to their posts because they are concerned about the welfare of the people they care for," Tung added.

At the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) press briefing on Saturday, deputy head of the CECC's medical response division Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said a total of 4,407 COVID-19 infected patients from across 595 long-term care facilities nationwide had been reported so far this year.

Among them, 1,526 were staff while 2,881 were residents, Lo said.

(By Chen Yu-ting and Ko Lin)

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