Taiwan reports new imported coronavirus case from Philippines

Taiwanese man in his 60s tests positive for coronavirus after returning from Philippines

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Residents transport pandemic supplies on border of Bulacan province and Caloocan City, Manila, Philippines on Aug. 10. 

Residents transport pandemic supplies on border of Bulacan province and Caloocan City, Manila, Philippines on Aug. 10.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Aug. 17) announced one new case of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) imported from the Philippines.

During a special press conference on Monday, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced there was one new imported coronavirus case, raising the total number of cases in Taiwan to 486. Case No. 486 is a man in his 60s who had been working in the Philippines for a long period of time, with his last departure from Taiwan being January of this year.

According to the CECC, the man's wife developed a fever on Aug. 2. While still in the Philipines, she then went to a local hospital to undergo a test for the coronavirus, but the results were negative.

On Aug. 12, Case No. 486 and his wife returned to Taiwan and was asymptomatic at the time of entry. Quarantine officers then tested the man for the coronavirus and dispatched him to a quarantine center.

The result of the initial test was negative. However, on Aug. 14 and Aug. 15, he began to experience a fever and quarantine personnel arranged for another COVID-19 test on Aug. 15.

The patient was confirmed to have the disease on Aug. 18 and was placed in a hospital isolation ward for treatment. The CECC pointed out that it has identified a total of 29 people who recently came in contact with Case No. 486, including his wife, 17 passengers who sat in the rows directly in front and behind him, and 11 flight crew members.

A total of 18 contacts have been told to undergo home isolation, while the 11 crew members have been asked to begin self-health monitoring, as it was deemed that they had worn proper protection throughout the flight.

The man's wife also proactively reported having experienced suspicious symptoms of the disease when she first arrived in Taiwan. After being assessed by quarantine officers, she was sent to a hospital isolation ward.

After carrying out an X-ray examination, doctors diagnosed the woman with pneumonia. She was then tested on Aug. 12, Aug. 13, and Aug. 14 for COVID-19, but all tests came back negative.

The CECC on Monday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 84,965 COVID-19 tests, with 83,864 coming back negative.

Out of the 486 confirmed cases, 394 were imported, 55 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," and one case has yet to be clarified. Up until now, seven individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 450 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 29 patients still undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in Taiwan.