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Nurse becomes 5th healthcare worker in Taiwan hospital Covid cluster

Confirmation of nurse brings total cases in hospital cluster to 5 doctors and nurses

CECC head Chen Shih-chung. 

CECC head Chen Shih-chung.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Jan. 18) announced the third nurse to be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus at a northern Taiwan hospital, bringing the total number of healthcare workers in the hospital cluster to five.

On Monday, Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that a newly confirmed coronavirus case, Case No. 863, is a nurse who works at the same hospital as Case No. 838, a physician. On Jan. 14 and 15, the nurse began to experience nasal congestion and a cough.

An initial coronavirus test came back negative on Jan. 12. Due to contact with Case No. 856, a doctor in his 30s, she underwent a second test for the disease.

On Jan. 18, she tested positive for COVID-19. In response to the recent outbreak of nosocomial infections, the CECC has launched the following epidemic prevention measures for the hospital:

  1. The CECC has set up a "forward command post" in the hospital.
  2. The ward where the confirmed case had been active has been closed and patients who had been in the ward have been placed in one-person isolation rooms. Areas where the case had been active have been disinfected, and they will remain closed until an environmental inspection confirms that it is safe.
  3. The floor where she had been working has been cleared of people and sealed off.
  4. Experts are being asked to come in and provide guidance and assistance on epidemic prevention and hospital infection control measures.
  5. All patients in the hospital can leave but are not allowed to come back in. All visits have been canceled and only one person can accompany the patient and must provide identification.
  6. Hospital staff have been informed of measures to be taken to implement self-health management. If staff members experience mild symptoms, they are to report them immediately and return to the hospital for medical treatment.