Taiwan quarantine evader spent 4 days at Internet café after return from China

Taipei City resident disappeared after returning from Beijing on March 21

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Police have stepped up their search for quarantine evaders 

Police have stepped up their search for quarantine evaders  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taipei City man supposed to have been in coronavirus quarantine spent four days at an Internet café, for which he will be fined NT$1 million (US$32,950), reports said Wednesday (March 25).

The man, named by the media as Chen Tse (陳冊), arrived in Taiwan on a flight from the Chinese capital Beijing on March 21, which meant he had to stay in home quarantine for 14 days. However, when officials looked him up at the address he had given, they could not reach him, CNA reported.

As a result, the Taipei City Government publicized his name and basic data on Tuesday (March 24) in an effort to mobilize the public to locate him. During the evening, he was found at an Internet café in the capital’s Zhongzheng District.

Chen had spent all of his time since arriving from China at the same café, Taipei City Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) told the media. As he spent more than 72 hours outside his home, he was likely to become the city’s second resident to be fined the maximum NT$1 million for his transgression.

Police at first wanted to take Chen home, but he was transferred to the Taipei City Hospital’s Heping branch for coronavirus tests. If the testing turns out positive, he will have to stay there, but if the results are negative, he will have to stay at a quarantine center.

Huang called on the central government to assign more staff and volunteers to the quarantine effort, as the requirement that returnees from overseas needed to self-isolate has led to a surge in the number of cases to monitor.

On Tuesday, Taiwan’s number of confirmed Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) patients crossed the 200-mark, including two deaths.