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Taiwan mulls post-quarantine testing for international arrivals to keep Delta COVID variant out

India-originating Delta variant has now spread to over 80 countries

Central Epidemic Command Center head Chen Shih-chung.

Central Epidemic Command Center head Chen Shih-chung. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the COVID-19 Delta variant is becoming more concerning, Taiwan's top health official said another screening could be implemented on all arrivals after the standard 14-day quarantine to prevent this most dangerous lineage of the virus from entering the community.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press briefing that another screening for international arrivals after the mandatory 14-day quarantine is seriously being considered, following comments by the chief scientist of the world's top health organization that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant is becoming globally dominant.

First identified in India, the Delta strain has now spread to over 80 countries.

"Travelers would not be allowed to enter the community if they failed the test," Chen said.

Currently, travelers must present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test issued within three business days before flying to Taiwan and undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Five novel coronavirus infections linked to the strain have been reported in Taiwan since last October, and all of them were imported, according to CECC senior health official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞). These five cases do not include a 59-year-old Taiwanese man who spent time in Vietnam and India and later tested positive with that particular strain at the airport in Macau.

Updated : 2021-07-30 07:12 GMT+08:00