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2 Taiwanese infants, 1 adult test positive for coronavirus upon arrival in Japan

155 people in Taiwan listed as contacts of 3 infected Taiwanese reported in Japan

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CECC Head Chen Shih-chung. 

CECC Head Chen Shih-chung.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Oct. 21) announced it had received notifications via a World Health Organization National IHR Focal Point in Japan that three Taiwanese passengers arriving from Taiwan had recently tested positive on rapid antigen tests for the Wuhan coronavirus.

During his weekly press conference Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced Japan's report that three people had tested positive for the coronavirus upon arrival from Taiwan. The antigen-positive cases include a baby boy (case No. 1) under the age of one, a woman in her 30s (case No. 2), and a one-year-old boy (case No. 3), all of whom are Taiwanese citizens.

The parents of case No. 1 had worked in Japan for an extended period of time and returned to Taiwan in January of this year. As the parents were preparing to return to Japan for work, they paid for coronavirus tests on Oct. 10, which came back negative.

When the infant arrived in Japan with his parents on Oct. 12, he was not exhibiting any symptoms of the disease. However, a nasopharyngeal swab taken at the airport resulted in a positive result on the rapid antigen test.

The baby was admitted into a hospital for treatment. His parents are asymptomatic and tested negative for the virus.

Chen said that as case No. 2 was expecting to fly to Japan for work, she took a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in Taiwan at her own expense. On Oct. 12, the result came back negative.

However, when she arrived at the airport in Japan on Oct. 14, the rapid antigen test came back positive. She has been asymptomatic since leaving Taiwan and is currently undergoing isolation in a Japanese epidemic prevention hotel. A PCR test subsequently administered on the woman came back negative on Oct. 20.

The parents of case No. 3 had also previously lived in Japan for an extended period of time. The boy returned to Taiwan with his mother in January of this year, while his father entered the country in February.

The boy developed a fever and respiratory symptoms on Sept. 28, and his parents sought medical attention for him. On Oct. 5, his symptoms subsided.

When he arrived with his parents in Japan on Oct. 14, a nasopharyngeal swab yielded a positive result for the coronavirus antigen. He was then admitted into a hospital for treatment.

Like case No. 1, both of his parents are asymptomatic and received a negative test result.

Chen stated that the health department has identified a total of 155 people as having come in contact with the three cases in Taiwan.

Of these, 147 have undergone testing, with 114 only undergoing the PCR test. Meanwhile, 33 others received both the PCR and serum antibody tests, all of which have come back negative.