Frenchman in Taiwan tests positive for coronavirus after quarantine ends

Health department identifies 4 people who came in contact with infected Frenchman in Taiwan

Restaurant and bar owners demonstrate in Marseille to challenge French government order to close all public venues. 

Restaurant and bar owners demonstrate in Marseille to challenge French government order to close all public venues.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Sept. 30) announced one new case of Wuhan coronavirus from France.

During his weekly press conference Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced a single new imported coronavirus case, raising the total number of cases in Taiwan to 514. The latest case is a French manufacturing technician in his 50s who came to Taiwan for work.

Chen said that Case. No. 514 had tested negative for the coronavirus three days before boarding his flight to Taiwan and that he had not experienced any noticeable symptoms of the disease. When he arrived in Taiwan on Sept. 11, he was transported directly to a quarantine center.

On Sept. 26th, the day after his quarantine period ended, he began implementing self-health monitoring in his hotel. His company then paid for a coronavirus test on Sept. 28, and the results came back positive on Sept. 30.

He is currently staying in a hospital isolation ward. His Ct value was 33.5 and he was found to have both IgM and IgG antibodies.

The health department has currently identified four people who came in contact with the man, including one hotel employee, who has been told to undergo home quarantine. The other three include two company coworkers and an epidemic-prevention taxi driver.

As the three had worn masks during their interactions with Case No. 514, they have only been asked to commence self-health monitoring. The health department is continuing to search for additional persons who may have come into contact with the man.

The CECC on Wednesday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 93,651 COVID-19 tests, with 92,502 coming back negative.

Out of the 514 confirmed cases, 422 were imported, 55 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," and one was the undetermined case of a Belgian engineer who arrived in early May to work on a wind farm project in Changhua County. Up until now, seven individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 483 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving only 24 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.

France has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases since late August, bringing its tally to 590,021 confirmed infections and 31,908 deaths from the disease.