TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Expanded testing of workers at wholesale markets in Taipei showed that 41 vendors at Huannan Market have tested positive for COVID-19, leading to its immediate closure on Friday (July 2).
The number of cases for the COVID-19 cluster infection involving wholesale markets operated by the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation (TAPMC, 臺北農產運銷公司) continued to climb this week, with new cases being identified in Nanmen, Yongle, Linjiang, Beitou, and Dongmen markets on Monday (June 28) alone. In response, Taipei City Government announced that it would work with three hospitals and carry out large-scale PCR testing on wholesale market employees across the city starting July 1.
Huannan Market vendors line up to be tested on Thursday. (CNA photo)
On Friday morning, Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) announced that 41 vendors at Huannan Market in Taipei's Wanhua District had tested positive with PCR tests for COVID-19. Huang said epidemiological investigations are being carried out and confirmed cases have been sent to epidemic prevention hotels.
Huang said that Taipei's Environmental Protection Bureau is coordinating with chemical warfare troops on cleaning and disinfecting the entire market. The market is to be closed for three days, until Monday (July 5) and once it reopens, it must be cleaned and disinfected three times a day.
PCR test being administered on vendor Thursday. (CNA photo)
In addition, starting Tuesday (July 6), all vendors must provide negative PCR test result certificates before they can enter the market each day.
On Friday morning (July 2) Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung said the center has set up a joint forward command post with Taipei City Government at the scene. It pledged to complete the diagnosis of confirmed cases by 5 p.m. the same day.
Chen said that close contacts of confirmed cases will be placed in quarantine and tested for the virus on Saturday (July 3). He pledged the center would continue to search for personnel in high-risk areas and test them for the coronavirus.
Workers are told to leave Huannan Market as it is shuts down on Friday. (CNA photo)