TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (May 10) announced three new domestic COVID-19 cases, one case under investigation, and 11 that were imported.
During a press conference on Monday, Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced three local COVID-19 cases, 11 imported cases, and one case whose details are currently being investigated. The three latest local cases include a shuttle bus driver and two family members of an earlier confirmed case, while the source of the infection of a China Airlines pilot has yet to be determined.
Chen said that case No. 1,186 is a Taiwanese man in his 40s who drives a shuttle bus for staff at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel. Between April 23 and 28, he transported case No. 1,128 and case No. 1,129, both of whom are staff employees of the hotel.
As part of the evacuation of Novotel on April 29, the driver was placed in a quarantine center. Nucleic acid and serum antibody tests taken that day came back negative.
On May 7, he developed a fever, cough, and diarrhea. The health department arranged for him to be tested for the coronavirus on May 8, and he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 10, with a Ct value of 20.
As the man was quarantined for three days before his symptoms began, no contacts have been listed in his case. Nevertheless, the CECC tested his family as an extra precaution.
Case No. 1,187 is a Taiwanese man in his 40s who works as a pilot for China Airlines. He was on duty in the U.S. from April 20 to 22.
On April 25, he took nucleic acid and serum antibody tests, both of which came back negative. On May 2, he rode to the company in the same vehicle as case No. 1,183.
On May 6, he developed a fever but only took over-the-counter medication and did not seek medical treatment. On May 8, he was listed as a close contact of case No. 1,183 and was told to enter home isolation.
Because his fever began that same day, he was tested for the coronavirus. On May 10, the result came back positive, with a Ct value of 16, but the source of his infection is still under investigation.
The health department has identified 26 contacts in his case, of whom 24 have entered home isolation, while two have started self-health monitoring. All of these contacts will be tested for the virus.
Chen provided a table showing the pilot's movements in early May, when he may have been infectious. From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 3, he visited the Seven Scholars Lounge (七賢吧) in the Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei at No. 160 Renai Road, Section 3 in Da'an District. From 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 4, he dined at the Xianlaoman (餡老滿) restaurant at No. 66 Jingmao 2nd Road in Taipei's Nangang District.
Chen advised those who have recently visited these establishments to commence self-health monitoring for the next 14 days. If they experience suspected symptoms of the coronavirus, they are advised to wear a mask and seek medical treatment immediately.
According to Chen, case No. 1,199 is a woman in her 40s, case No. 1,200 is a girl in her teens, and both are family members of case No. 1,105, a Taiwanese male cargo pilot in his 40s who works for China Airlines. The two were listed as contacts of the pilot and began home quarantine on April 26, when they took nucleic acid and serum antibody tests that came back negative.
As their quarantine was set to end, they were tested again on May 9, and the results came back positive on May 10. Case No. 1,199 was found to have a Ct value of 28, while case No. 1,200 had a Ct value of 33.
The health department has listed another contact for the two: a person who lives with them. Although a test taken May 9 came back negative, the contact's quarantine has been extended to May 23.
Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 215,806 COVID-19 tests, with 213,504 coming back negative. Out of the 1,199 confirmed cases, 1,048 were imported, 99 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 13 cases are still under investigation.
Up until now, 12 individuals have succumbed to the disease in the country, while 1,089 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 98 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. The lower the number, the more recent the infection and the higher the viral load.