TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (May 6) announced one local COVID-19 case and 12 imported cases.
During a press conference on Thursday, Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that the new local coronavirus case is an employee of the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport Hotel, raising the total number of cases in the hotel cluster infection to six. Meanwhile, the imported cases include nine Filipinos, two Vietnamese, and an Indonesian, all of whom are migrant workers.
Chen said that case No. 1,174 is a Taiwanese man in his 30s who works in the engineering department of the hotel. As part of his duties, he has frequently come in contact with cleaning department employees cases 1,120 and 1,129.
According to Chen, case No. 1,174 entered a quarantine center on April 29, when the hotel was evacuated after a manager tested positive for the virus. Nucleic acid and serum antibody tests conducted that day came back negative.
However, on May 3, the man began to experience a sore throat, fever, and muscle aches. He reported his symptoms on May 4, and the quarantine center arranged for a coronavirus test.
On May 5, he tested positive for COVID-19, with a Ct value* of 17. Since he had been in a quarantine center at least two days before the onset of illness and had not interacted with others during that time, no contacts have been listed in his case.
Chen pointed out that with the addition of the latest infection, the Novotel Hotel cluster infection now comprises five employees, cases 1,120, 1,127, 1,128 1,129, and 1,174, in addition to a contractor, case No. 1,145.
A total of 80 former employees, interns, and contractors who worked in the hotel from April 19-28 have had nucleic acid testing done, with 73 testing negative, one testing positive (case No. 1,145), and six still undergoing testing. The serum antibody tests for 61 have come back negative, while 19 are awaiting results.
Cases 1,134, 1,135, and 1,136 are the husband, son, and daughter of Novotel employee case No. 1,129. In addition, eight airline crew members stayed in the hotel, including cases 1,122, 1,105, 1,102, 1,101, 1,092, 1,079, 1,154, and 1,091. Another 12 cases were found to have come in contact with these crew members, bringing the total number of persons associated with the Novotel-China Airlines cluster to 29.
Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 212,632 COVID-19 tests, with 210,385 coming back negative. Of the 1,173 confirmed cases, 1,028 were imported, 95 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from a cargo pilot cluster, and one was an unresolved case.
One person (case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case. The status of one recent case has yet to be determined, and 11 cases are currently under investigation.
Up until now, 12 individuals have succumbed to the disease in the country, while 1,075 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 86 patients still undergoing treatment.
*The cycle threshold (Ct) value refers to how many cycles at which fluorescence of the PCR test is detectable. The higher the number of cycles, the longer the virus has gone undetected, while the lower the number, the more recent the infection and therefore the higher the viral load.