Indonesian student is Taiwan's latest imported coronavirus case

Indonesian's 2 dormmates among 15 people identified as contacts

Street sweeper checks his mobile phone as he takes a break near a coronavirus-themed mural in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Street sweeper checks his mobile phone as he takes a break near a coronavirus-themed mural in Jakarta, Indonesia.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Oct. 21) announced that one new case of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) has been imported from Indonesia.

During his weekly press conference Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced one new imported coronavirus case, raising the total number of cases in Taiwan to 544. Case No. 544 is an Indonesian boy in his teens who was with five fellow countrymen when he entered Taiwan on Oct. 5 to begin a study program.

Chen said that the case had not reported any symptoms when he arrived in Taiwan and had presented a negative antibody test report generated within the previous three days. After arriving in Taiwan, he took an epidemic prevention taxi to a quarantine hotel.

From Oct. 8 to 9, he began to experience a cough and sore throat, but the symptoms subsided by Oct. 10. When the quarantine period expired on Oct. 20, his school arranged for a special epidemic prevention vehicle to transport him to a hospital for a coronavirus test taken at his own expense.

He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Oct. 21 and sent to a hospital isolation ward. The five other Indonesian students who entered the country with him have all tested negative for the virus.

Chen said that in addition to the five students, the health department has thus far identified 10 people who came in contact with the case, including a taxi driver, three members of the hotel's staff, five school reception staff, and an epidemic prevention vehicle driver, all of whom have been told to begin self-health monitoring. As for the five students, two had stayed in the same dormitory as Case No. 544 without wearing masks and have been told to undergo home isolation, while the other three have been asked to start self-health monitoring.

The cabin crew and the passengers who sat in the two rows directly in front and behind the boy have also been told to begin self-health monitoring.

The CECC on Wednesday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 99,589 COVID-19 tests, with 98,282 coming back negative.

Out of the 544 confirmed cases, 452 were imported, 55 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," and one is an unresolved case. Up until now, seven individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 495 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 42 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.

Updated : 2020-12-01 02:36 GMT+08:00