TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taoyuan General Hospital reopened to the public Friday (Feb. 19) with tougher infection prevention measures after a domestic COVID-19 cluster killed one person and also infected 20 others.
The Jan. 12 outbreak at the facility ended several months without any domestic transmissions and fueled fears of a new wave, as seen in many other countries in the region. The cluster eventually expanded to include medical staff, patients and their relatives, resulting in the mother-in-law of a nurse becoming Taiwan’s first coronavirus fatality since the spring of 2020.
A gradual evacuation of the hospital started on Jan. 19, but Friday’s reopening was only partial, with its coronavirus ward being upgraded into an intensive care unit for serious virus patients, CNA reported.
After March 1, a review of operations will show whether the hospital is ready to accept more patients, according to officials. Due to its location in the same city as Taiwan’s main gateway, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the hospital had accepted new COVID patients every day, with a daily maximum reaching 30.
As of Friday, the country had confirmed 941 coronavirus cases, including 44 still receiving treatment at hospitals and nine deaths.