TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first instance of a non-infected person being confused for a COVID case in Taiwan was reported on Wednesday (Dec. 22).
The Taipei City Government Department of Health announced that a few days ago, a traveler tested positive for COVID and according to standard operating procedure (SOP) would have been immediately transported to a hospital isolation ward. However, a traveler who had actually tested negative for the virus and checked into the epidemic prevention hotel the same day was sent to the hospital instead.
Health department officials were not aware of the mistake until they were notified by the hospital that the person who had been transported to the facility had tested negative.
Ou Chia-ling (歐佳齡), a special committee member of the Department of Health, was cited by UDN as saying that it appears there was a miscommunication with staff at the epidemic prevention hotel and that the identity of the confirmed case was not properly confirmed when the ambulance arrived. Ou pledged the department will conduct an internal review and strengthen its SOP to require stricter identity verification as well as procedures for testing and medical treatment.
Ou stated that in addition to requiring health department personnel to communicate directly with epidemic prevention hotels, subsequent notifications and related information must be recorded, and ambulances will also be required to verify the case's information before taking them to the hospital.
The Department of Information and Tourism (TPEDOIT) stated that the epidemic prevention hotel in this case had confirmed with the health department that a guest needed to be sent to the hospital. However, due to the inconsistency of information exchanged, the wrong occupant was sent. In the wake of the incident, the TPEDOIT is calling on epidemic prevention hotels to confirm information about guests selected for medical treatment or testing.