TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After news broke that an elderly man diagnosed with COVID-19 had visited two dance halls in northern Taiwan last week, images surfaced from one of the dance halls showing over 100 people, many of whom were not wearing masks.
On Wednesday (April 28), Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that case No. 1,112, a Taiwanese man in his 70s, had come in contact with 190 persons, all of whom have been told to enter home isolation.
The CECC also included a list of the locations case No. 1,112 had been to in Taoyuan from April 20-21. From 1:20 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on April 20, the man took a dance class at the Pingzhen District Beixing Activity Center at No. 353 Jinling Road, Section 2. At 4 p.m., before eating at a noodle shop (懶得煮客家麵食館陵店) in Zhongli District at No. 228 Jinling Road.
Participants dancing at Amanda Dance Hall, many without masks. (Facebook, Amanda Dance Hall photo)
That evening, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., he danced at the Amanda Dance Hall, also in Zhongli District. On April 21, case No. 1,112 went to a senior learning class at the Taoyuan Zhongbu Elementary School in Taoyuan District at No. 1054 Yongan Road from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. that day.
Netizens that day reviewed Facebook photos posted from a gathering at Amanda Dance Hall on April 20 and discovered a group photo of over 100 people, very few of whom were wearing masks. The few that were wearing masks had dragged them below their chin for the photo op.
In response to concerns about the possible exposure to the coronavirus by the many people present, the administrators of the Amanda Dance Hall Facebook page on Thursday (April 29) thanked the public for their concern and said the venue is following the instructions handed down by the government.
Dancers taking part in April 20 event at Amanda Dance Hall. (Facebook, Amanda Dance Hall photo)
The administrators said that on Wednesday, all participants were notified by the health department to undergo coronavirus testing and enter home isolation. On Thursday (April 29), arrangements were made for attendees to be transported via epidemic prevention vehicles to a hospital to undergo coronavirus testing.
They said the results will be out in a few days and the group would announce the findings. In the meantime, all persons who were in attendance on April 20 will undergo home isolation until May 5.
An official notice posted on the front entrance announced that the venue would be closed from April 28 to April 30 in accordance with epidemic prevention regulations. It stated that a complete disinfection is being carried out at the premises, and it apologized for any inconvenience caused to patrons.