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Croatian sailor tests positive for COVID 71 days after Taiwan arrival

Taiwan reports 2 imported COVID-19 cases from Croatia, Philippines

Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic receives dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination in Zagreb, Croatia, March 24, 2021.

Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic receives dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination in Zagreb, Croatia, March 24, 2021. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (April 16) confirmed two COVID-19 infections, including a Croatian seaman who tested positive for the virus 71 days after arriving in Taiwan.

At a press conference, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced two imported infections, raising the country's total cases to 1,070. The latest cases include a Taiwanese man and a Croatian man, bringing the number of imported infections to 954.

Each had submitted the negative result of a coronavirus test taken within three days of their flight, and each was sent directly to their residence or a quarantine center upon arrival in Taiwan.

According to Chuang, case No. 1,070 is a 30-year-old Taiwanese who went to the Philippines for work in January of last year. On March 10, he experienced a runny nose and lost his senses of smell and taste.

After five to six days, his symptoms subsided. During this period, he only took over-the-counter medication and did not seek medical treatment while in the Philippines.

When he returned to Taiwan on April 13, he proactively told quarantine officers about the symptoms he had had. Quarantine staff administered a coronavirus test on him at the airport.

On April 16, the test came back positive for COVID-19 with a Ct value of 32. After being hospitalized, he was found to have a Ct value of 35 and was positive for IgG and IgM antibodies.

The health department has identified three contacts who had sat in the two rows directly in front of and behind him on the flight to Taiwan. All three have been told to enter home isolation.

Chuang stated that case No. 1,071 is a Croatian male in his 30s. Last December, he developed a fever and observed an abnormality with his sense of smell and taste.

On Jan. 14, Jan. 20, and Jan. 27 of this year, he tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequent tests taken on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3 were negative.

On Feb. 4, he arrived in Taiwan for work and stayed in quarantine until Feb. 18. After receiving a negative result from a coronavirus test on Feb. 20, he completed his self-health monitoring phase without incident.

Chuang said the man then boarded a ship on March 7 and had no symptoms while he was out to sea. He returned to port on April 13.

As he was preparing to leave Taiwan, he and 15 other crew members took self-paid coronavirus tests on April 14. On April 16, case No. 1,071 tested positive for COVID-19, 71 days after he had arrived in Taiwan.

He initially registered a Ct value of 32, but after hospitalization, he was found to have a Ct value of 35 and was negative for IgM antibodies and positive for IgG antibodies. His 15 coworkers have all tested negative.

The health department has identified a total of 56 people who were on the ship with the Croatian sailor. However, because each person had stayed in a separate room with a separate bathroom, no additional contacts have been listed.

Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 198,162 COVID-19 tests, with 196,507 coming back negative. Out of the 1,070 officially confirmed cases, 954 were imported, 77 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from a cargo pilot cluster, one was an unresolved case, and one (case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case.

Up until now, 11 individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 1,032 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 27 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-05-14 03:36 GMT+08:00