TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Dec. 23) announced that six new cases of Wuhan coronavirus have been imported from the Philippines and Indonesia, including an Indonesian woman who tested positive after already moving into her employer's home.
During his weekly press conference Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health and Welfare and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced seven imported coronavirus cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 776. The latest imported cases include six migrant workers from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Each had submitted negative results of tests taken within three days of their flight, and each was sent directly to an epidemic hotel upon arrival in Taiwan.
Chen stated that both Cases 772 and 773 are Filipino migrant workers, with the former being a woman in her 30s and the latter a man in his 20s. Both came to Taiwan for work on Dec. 8.
Prior to the end of their quarantines on Dec. 21, they each took a test for the coronavirus. The two were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 23.
Because they have been asymptomatic since arriving in Taiwan and did not come into contact with others during quarantine, contact tracing was not carried out.
Cases 774 and 775 are Indonesian fishermen in their 30s and 20s, respectively. When Case No. 774 finished his quarantine on Dec. 17, he was transferred to another location to undergo self-health monitoring.
On Dec. 21, his labor broker arranged for him to take a test for the coronavirus and on Dec. 23 he tested positive for COVID-19. The health department has listed 20 persons who came in contact with the man, including three who have been told to undergo home isolation, while 17 have been asked to start self-health monitoring.
Case No. 775 arrived in Taiwan on Dec. 17. While undergoing quarantine, he began to develop a cough and runny nose on Dec. 21, and quarantine staff arranged for him to take a coronavirus test that same day.
He tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 23. The health department has identified 51 people who came in contact with the man, including 32 passengers who sat in the two rows directly in front of and behind him, as well as 18 crew members.
The 32 passengers have been told to undergo home isolation, while the 18 crew members have only been asked to start self-health monitoring as they were deemed to have worn proper protective gear.
Case No. 776 is an Indonesian female migrant worker in her 30s who came to Taiwan for work on Nov. 27. While still undergoing quarantine, she was tested for the coronavirus on Dec. 10 and the result came back negative.
After being taken to her employer's home on Dec. 14, the employer arranged for her self-health monitoring to take place in a separate room. Although she was not experiencing any symptoms of the disease, the employer on Dec. 21 arranged for the woman to undergo an additional coronavirus test at her own expense.
She was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 23. The health department has listed three contacts for the case, but because they wore adequate protective gear, they have been told to begin self-health monitoring.
Case No. 777 is a Filipino female migrant worker in her 20s. When she came to Taiwan for work on Dec. 9 she did not report experiencing any symptoms of the virus.
When her quarantine ended on Dec. 22, she was tested for the virus and was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 23. Since she has been asymptomatic throughout and did not come in contact with others during quarantine, the health department has not listed any contacts in her case.
Taiwan's CECC on Wednesday announced that there were four reports of people with suspected symptoms, but a second round of tests yielded negative results. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 121,171 COVID-19 tests, with 119,099 coming back negative.
Out of the 759 confirmed cases, 681 were imported, 56 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from the cargo pilot cluster, 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 635 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 134 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.