TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to a Delta cluster infection at a Taoyuan hotel on Thursday (Dec. 16), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that it will strengthen four epidemic prevention measures during quarantine.
The CECC on Thursday confirmed that eight COVID cases have been tied to an epidemic prevention hotel in northern Taiwan, with four testing positive for the Delta variant and three others suspected to be part of the same cluster infection. CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that with daily imported COVID cases often numbering in the double digits and a wave of Lunar New Year returnees just beginning, the center plans to strengthen four major epidemic prevention measures for those undergoing quarantine to protect the community from infection, including the following:
- Increased number of COVID tests
- Inspections of hotels
- Checking ventilation and air conditioning
- Testing if symptoms arise
Chen said that the first step is to do surveillance through an increased number of tests for the three quarantine options during the Lunar Year Near. He said that PCR tests or rapid antigen tests will be carried out upon arrival and on the third, seventh, 10th, 14th, and 21st days after arrival for a total of six times, with those violating these required tests being "punished severely."
Second, he said that the center will invite a panel of experts to conduct a comprehensive inspection of epidemic prevention accommodations and guide and assist the staff in implementing epidemic prevention measures.
According to Chen, the third measure is to call on third parties to inspect ventilation and air conditioning systems in epidemic prevention hotels. The Ministry of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be requested to assist in the comprehensive inspection of ventilation and air conditioning facilities in the quarantine hotels and provide suggestions for improvement.
The CECC head stated that the fourth measure is to strengthen the notification of symptoms. In the past, when a traveler exhibited symptoms while in quarantine, experts would judge whether they should be tested.
However, Chen said that in the future, as long as a traveler has symptoms during quarantine, PCR testing will always be carried out to more accurately detect cases.