CORONAVIRUS/28% of travelers from China COVID-positive on first day of border testing
Taipei, Jan. 2 (CNA) Over one quarter of the more than 500 travelers who arrived in Taiwan from China and were tested for COVID-19 under new border measures on Sunday returned positive results, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The CECC announced last week that it would require travelers from China to undergo a saliva-based PCR test when arriving in Taiwan from Jan. 1, in light of that country's ongoing COVID-19 surge.
The policy applies to people on flights from four Chinese cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xiamen -- that currently have direct services to Taiwan, as well as citizens arriving in Taiwan's outlying Kinmen and Matsu islands from Xiamen.
On Sunday, the first day of the new testing policy, 146 of the total 524 arriving travelers from China at Taoyuan International Airport tested positive for COVID-19, equivalent to a 27.8 percent positivity rate, the CECC said.
In an interview on Monday, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said it was hard to determine whether Sunday's positivity rate would be higher, lower, or more or less representative of what will be seen in the coming weeks.
However, Chuang said he hoped the policy would have a deterrent effect, by convincing people traveling from China not to board a flight if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
Under the policy, travelers who test positive will be required to begin a five-day period of isolation if they have mild or no symptoms, while those with more serious symptoms will have to call the 1922 hotline to arrange for transportation to a hospital.
According to Chuang, the CECC plans to conduct genome sequencing on samples taken from around 20 travelers who arrive from China and test positive each day, in order to better understand the COVID-19 variants circulating in each of the four cities of origin.
The new testing policy primarily targets returning Taiwanese citizens and Chinese nationals traveling to Taiwan on business, for study or to visit their families, as Chinese tourists are still banned from entering Taiwan.
It is tentatively set to expire on Jan. 31.
Jan. 31: Taiwan to lift COVID-19 testing on travelers from China from Feb. 7
- Serious COVID-19 cases up 30% as Taiwan enters 4th Omicron wave: CDCThe number of serious COVID-19 infections in Taiwan increased by about 30 percent last week, in the latest sign the country is entering a fourth wave of cases fueled by lineages ...05/23/2023 04:32 PM
- Taiwan to further ease mask rules at end of MaySome of Taiwan's last remaining mask rules, which require the wearing of masks in long-term care facilities and ambulances, are likely to be lifted on May 31, the Centers for ...05/16/2023 06:35 PM
- Updated Moderna booster shots available for young children starting May 16Children aged 6 months to 5 years who have already received two Moderna vaccine doses will be able to get a second-generation Moderna jab as a booster shot against COVID-19 ...05/12/2023 10:39 PM
Taiwan's Navy set to take delivery of second homemade corvette next month05/29/2023 10:32 AM
U.S. dollar down in Taipei trading05/29/2023 10:13 AM
Taiwan headline news05/29/2023 10:12 AM
Taiwan shares open higher05/29/2023 09:09 AM
Taiwanese artist's animated film shines at Tokyo art fair05/28/2023 09:07 PM