103 quarantined in Taiwan after Australian musician diagnosed with coronavirus

103 out of 147 people who came in contact with Australian musician diagnosed with Wuhan virus quarantined in Taiwan

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After news broke on Thursday night (March 5) that an Australian musician who performed in Taiwan over the weekend has been confirmed with the Wuhan coronavirus, over 100 people who came into contact with him have been quarantined.

On Thursday news broke the 58-year-old Australian composer Brett Dean tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in the South Australian state capital of Adelaide on Tuesday (March 3), following a trip on EVA Air flight BR-315 from Taiwan to Brisbane in Queensland. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday said he performed at the National Concert Hall (NCH) in Taipei on Friday night (Feb. 28) and on Sunday afternoon (March 1), before boarding the EVA Air flight on Monday (March 2).

Health Minister and CECC Head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Dean departed London on EVA Air Flight BR-68 on Feb. 22, transited through Bangkok, and landed in Taiwan on Feb. 23. On the evening of Feb. 27, he visited a clinic after he began to develop a cough and a runny nose.

On Friday (March 6), Dean's agency Intermusic announced on Twitter the composer, violist, and conductor had been diagnosed with the disease on Monday and is receiving treatment in Adelaide. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Dean is being treated and undergoing quarantine at The Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Since the news of Dean's diagnosis broke in Taiwan, 147 people are believed to have come into relatively close contact with Dean during his stay in Taiwan. Of these people, at least 103 have been asked to undergo home quarantine, including 27 orchestra members, 15 drivers, three friends, 18 airline passengers and crew, 8 reporters, and 17 hotel staff, reported ETtoday.

On Friday, Chen announced Dean's itinerary during his stay in Taiwan from Feb. 23 to March 2. Apart from visiting a clinic for medical treatment for his flu-like symptoms, Dean primarily frequented his hotel and the NCH.

Dean did not take mass transit, but did take taxis and was transported by private drivers, according to the CECC. Chen emphasized that because he did not take any forms of mass transit, the risk to the general public is low.

Chen said that after reviewing video footage of Dean's movements, he was found to generally eat alone, or with two or three friends. His taxi drivers have all been contacted and asked to undergo home quarantine.

After reviewing surveillance video footage of Dean's two performances, Chen said that 23 members of the audience who came within 2 meters of Dean have also been asked to start quarantining themselves at home. Chen added the front two rows were considered within 2 meters of the stage where Dean was performing.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told ETtoday that 103 of the 147 people who came in close proximity to Dean have been asked to home quarantine. Chuang added that 103 persons asked to self-quarantine include 27 orchestra members, 17 hotel staff, and 18 airline personnel.

NOWnews cited Chuang as saying that the 18 passengers and crew members asked to enter quarantine include 12 flight attendants and six passengers. The six passengers include those who sat directly front or behind Dean in business class on his two flights.