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Filipino attends funeral for coronavirus victim in Philippines, tests positive in Taiwan

Man tests positive in Taiwan after attending funeral of friend who died of COVID-19 in Philippines

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People visit deceased relatives' tombs at North Cemetery on Oct. 28, 2020, in Manila, Philippines.

People visit deceased relatives' tombs at North Cemetery on Oct. 28, 2020, in Manila, Philippines. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (Oct. 30) announced one new imported case of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), a Filipino man who contracted the virus after returning to his home country to attend the funeral of a friend who died from the disease.

During a press conference on Friday, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced one imported coronavirus infection, raising the total number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 554. The latest case (case no. 555) is a Filipino man in his 30s who flew from the Philippines to Taiwan on Oct. 15.

Chuang said case no. 555 has been working in Taiwan for a long period of time. On Sept. 10 of this year, he returned to the Philippines.

On Sept. 13, he attended a funeral for a friend who had died from COVID-19. During his stay in the Philippines, case no. 555 lived in the same residence as 14 other people.

After some of the residents were diagnosed with the virus, he underwent a test on Sept. 17. After testing positive for the disease on Sept. 18, he began at home isolation.

On Sept. 20, he was admitted into a hospital after he began to experience a cough, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. He was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 3, and another coronavirus test came back negative on Oct. 9.

Chuang said the man took a flight back to Taiwan on Oct. 15 and that when he arrived at the airport, he did not report experiencing any symptoms of the disease. Before his quarantine expired on Oct. 29, he was tested again.

On Oct. 30, he tested positive again for COVID-19 and was placed in a hospital isolation ward. The health department has identified seven people who sat near him on the flight to Taiwan, and the results of tests administered before their quarantines had expired all came back negative. They have since been asked to begin self-health monitoring.

The CECC on Friday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 101,787 COVID-19 tests, with 100,194 coming back negative.

Out of the 554 officially confirmed cases, 462 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 514 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 33 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.