TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three out of Taiwan's eight newly reported imported Wuhan coronavirus cases are from the first flight to arrive in the country from the U.K. since the emergence of a new mutant strain of the virus.
On Monday (Dec. 28), Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced eight new imported COVID-19 cases, raising Taiwan's total number of infections to 793. Among Monday's eight imported cases were three (Cases 792-794) who took a China Airlines (CAL) flight from London.
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.
On Dec. 26, China Airlines Flight CI 082 took off from London at 9:15 p.m. local time and arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 5:36 p.m. on Dec. 27. The flight was carrying 127 people, including 13 crew members, 90 Taiwanese passengers, one Chinese, 21 British, and two Americans.
Of the 114 passengers, one was found to have a fever of 39 degrees Celsius, while four had experienced symptoms of the coronavirus within the past 14 days, reported the BCC. The person with the fever was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday, while the four with symptoms tested negative.
Despite not reporting any symptoms of the virus, an additional two passengers tested positive for the virus on Monday. The rest of the passengers have tested negative and are undergoing self-health monitoring at a centralized quarantine station.
As for the other imported infections, Case No. 787 is a British male in his 20s who came to visit relatives on Dec. 20. He began to experience tonsil swelling and earache on Dec. 25.
After reporting his symptoms, the health department on Dec. 26 arranged for him to undergo testing for the coronavirus, and he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 28. The health department has identified 23 persons who came in contact with the man and directed 14 to begin home isolation and nine to start self-health monitoring.
Case No. 788 is a female Filipino migrant worker in her 20s. She first came to Taiwan for work on Dec. 13.
As her quarantine was set to end, she was tested for the coronavirus on Dec. 26 and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Dec. 28. As she had been asymptomatic throughout her stay in Taiwan and did not come into contact with any other persons during quarantine, the health department did not list any contacts in her case.
Case No. 789 is a male Indonesian fisheries worker in his 20s who came to Taiwan for work on Dec. 12. When his quarantine expired on Dec. 27, his labor broker arranged for him to take a special vehicle to a hospital to undergo testing for the coronavirus.
He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 28, and the health department has identified five persons who came in contact with the man. Since the diagnosis, the five contacts have been asked to commence self-health monitoring.
Case No. 790 is a British male in his 20s. He was first diagnosed with the virus in the U.K. on Aug. 29.
Four subsequent nucleic acid tests taken from Dec. 9 to 21 all came back negative. On Dec. 23, he arrived in Taiwan to deal with business-related matters.
As part of a campaign to screen passengers who had recently arrived from the U.K., the man was tested for the virus on Dec. 27 and was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 28. The health department has listed a total of 18 contacts, three of whom sat directly in front of or behind him on his flight to Taiwan and have been told to start home isolation.
The remaining 15 contacts have not entered the country and will be notified by their country of origin via the World Health Organization's National IHR Focal Point (NFP).
Case No. 791 is a Taiwanese man in his 20s who went to the U.K. for school in February of this year. He returned to Taiwan on Dec. 22.
While undergoing quarantine at home, he developed a fever, cough, runny nose, and muscle aches on Dec. 26. Due to his suspicious symptoms, the health department arranged for him to undergo testing for the coronavirus, and he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 28.
Since the man had been alone in his home during quarantine and personnel who came in contact with him during medical treatment wore proper protective equipment, no contacts have been listed in his case.
The CECC on Monday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 124,021 COVID-19 tests, with 121,903 coming back negative.
Out of the 793 officially confirmed cases, 698 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 654 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 132 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.