Belarus man tests positive for Covid after Taiwan quarantine ends

Taiwan reports 4 imported cases of coronavirus from Philippines, Indonesia, UK, Belarus

Belarusians wearing surgical masks attend an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus. 

Belarusians wearing surgical masks attend an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Nov. 30) announced four new imported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, including a man from Belarus who tested positive for the virus after his quarantine ended.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced four imported coronavirus cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 678. The latest cases were imported from the Philippines, Indonesia, the U.K., and Belarus.

Chuang said that Case No. 677 is a Filipino male in his 20s who came to Taiwan for work on Nov. 16. While undergoing quarantine, he began to experience a runny nose on Nov. 27.

On Nov. 29, prior to the end of his quarantine, he was tested for the coronavirus. On Dec. 1, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed in a hospital isolation ward.

As he had been in quarantine for two days before the onset of his symptoms, the health department has not listed any contacts for this case.

According to Chuang, Case No. 678 is an Indonesian woman in her 30s who came to Taiwan for work on Nov. 28. When she arrived, she voluntarily informed quarantine officers that she had been experiencing dizziness since Nov. 21.

She said that she took over-the-counter medication and did not seek medical attention. Quarantine staff then administered a test for the coronavirus on the woman, and she was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 1.

The health department has identified 65 persons who came in contact with the woman, including 21 crew members and 44 passengers who sat directly in front of and behind her.

The passengers have been told to begin home isolation, while the crew members have been asked to start self-health monitoring, as they were deemed to have worn adequate protective gear.

Chuang stated that Case No. 679 is a Taiwanese man in his 30s who worked in the U.K. for an extended period of time. On Oct. 26, he began to experience general fatigue, a runny nose, and nasal congestion.

As the symptoms did not improve, he went to see a local physician in the U.K. on Oct. 28. He underwent a test for the coronavirus and was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In accordance with local regulations, he then entered a self-quarantine for 10 days. During the quarantine, he experienced a loss of the sense of smell and taste.

His symptoms subsided on Nov. 7 after his quarantine had ended, and he returned to Taiwan on Nov. 28. He was asymptomatic when he arrived in Taiwan.

Nevertheless, he proactively informed quarantine officers that he had been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and was tested again for the virus at the airport. The test results came back positive on Dec. 1, and the health department has begun investigating the identities of the passengers who were on the same flight to Taiwan.

Chuang said that Case No. 680 is a Belarusian man in his 40s who holds a residence permit in Taiwan. In mid-October, he returned to his home country to visit relatives.

He came back to Taiwan for work on Nov. 13 and has been asymptomatic thus far. After his quarantine expired, his company arranged for him to take a test for the coronavirus at a nearby hospital, and the results came back positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 1.

The health department has identified 11 persons who came in contact with the man, all of whom are medical personnel. One of the health care professionals has been told to begin home isolation, as the only protective gear they wore when interacting with the man was a mask and gloves.

As the other 10 health care workers had been wearing appropriate protective equipment, they are only being asked to commence self-health monitoring.

The CECC on Tuesday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 110,685 COVID-19 tests, with 108,969 coming back negative.

Out of the 679 officially confirmed cases, 587 were imported, 55 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," one is an unresolved case, and one (Case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case. Up until now, seven individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 568 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 104 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-01-23 01:33 GMT+08:00