TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced that people who have contracted COVID in Taiwan do not to be listed as contacts of cases for three months and can therefore avoid additional quarantines during that period.
As the local outbreak continues to heat up, the number of confirmed and recovered cases increases. The CECC on Thursday (May 19) announced that if a COVID case has been diagnosed, recovered, and completed their isolation period, it is not necessary to list them as a contact of new cases.
However, if there is a possibility of infection, it is recommended they test for COVID. Since the beginning of this year, the cumulative number of local COVID cases has exceeded 950,000, according to CECC statistics.
At a press conference that afternoon, Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) medical response division, said that some people have described recovered patients as "invincible stars" because they will a certain degree of immunity for at least three months. Given that some recovered patients have occupations that repeatedly put them in contact with COVID cases, such as healthcare jobs, it is becoming less practical to repeatedly list recovered patients as contacts of new cases.
Lo explained that if a previously diagnosed case comes into contact with confirmed cases again within three months of the onset date of their symptoms and are asymptomatic, they no longer need to be listed as a contact. In addition, they are no longer required to undergo isolation measures such as the "3+4" and "0+7" quarantine schemes.
However, Lo reminded the public that if recovered cases come in contact with new cases, and suspected symptoms of COVID appear after exposure, they are recommended to take a rapid antigen or PCR test. If the result is negative. Lo said there is no need for them to be listed as a case contact.
Lo pointed out that after a COVID case is released from isolation, they are in principle regarded as non-infectious, and if the virus is detected again in their system within the next three months, most will not be judged to have new infections. When asked by the media about the occurrence of reinfections, Lo explained that as of Monday (May 16), at total of 457 cases diagnosed with a previous variant of COVID within the past two years have been found to have a second infection caused by Omicron.
If a COVID case tests positive after their quarantine has ended, Lo said that they will be considered non-infectious, additional tests are not necessary for the next three months, and they will not be subject to the seven-day quarantine required for new cases. Lo said the only exception to this would be a situation in which a doctor suspects the patient is suffering from reinfection.