TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (March 4) confirmed two imported COVID-19 infections from Nigeria and the Philippines, including a case in which eight maskless migrant workers were found to have been exposed to an infected man while riding an epidemic prevention vehicle.
CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced three imported infections on Thursday, raising the total number of cases in the country to 958. The latest cases include a Nigerian resident and a Filipino migrant worker, who was diagnosed with the disease after four tests.
Each had submitted the negative result of a test taken within three days of their flight, and each was sent directly to a quarantine center upon arrival in Taiwan.
Chuang said that case No. 960 is a Nigerian man in his 50s who has lived in Taiwan for a long period of time and has a Taiwan residence permit. On Jan. 8 of this year, he flew to Nigeria to attend a funeral.
On Jan. 18, he began to experience a slight cough but his symptoms subsided after he took over-the-counter medication. He returned to Taiwan on Feb. 28.
Due to general fatigue and a chronic health condition, health department officials on March 2 arranged for the man to undergo a coronavirus test. On March 4, the man was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Since the medical personnel who came in contact with the man were wearing proper protective equipment, the health department has not listed any contacts in his case.
Case No. 961 is a Filipino male migrant worker in his 20s who came to Taiwan for work on Feb. 9 of this year. As his quarantine was set to end, he underwent a coronavirus test on Feb. 22, but the result came back negative.
After his quarantine ended, his labor agent arranged for him to undergo self-health monitoring at another residence. On Feb. 26, he took a special epidemic prevention vehicle to go to a hospital to undergo a nucleic acid coronavirus test.
Because the result of the test was inconclusive, he was placed in a hospital isolation ward on Feb. 27 as a precaution. He underwent another nucleic acid test that day and again on March 2.
On March 4, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He has been asymptomatic since entering the country.
The health department has identified nine contacts in his case, including eight migrant workers who rode the same epidemic prevention vehicle and have been told to enter home isolation because they did not wear masks. Because the driver was confirmed to have been wearing proper protective equipment, he is only being asked to start self-health monitoring.
Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 175,846 COVID-19 tests, with 173,662 coming back negative. Out of the 960 officially confirmed cases, 844 were imported, 77 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from a cargo pilot cluster, one is an unresolved case, and one (case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case.
Up until now, nine individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 928 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 23 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.