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1,000 people party in Omicron case's karaoke club for New Year's Eve

Omicron case played mahjong on New Year's Day in Taoyuan karaoke club

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(Facebook, Lu Ming-che photo)

(Facebook, Lu Ming-che photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — There are concerns that a New Year's Eve party at a social club in Taoyuan could become a superspreader event for the Omicron variant after a Omicron-positive individual was found to be an active member.

Taoyuan City Department of Public Health on Wednesday (Jan. 5) released a list of 12 locations where four COVID-positive cleaners had visited from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4. These included two hypermarkets, two traditional markets, two bakeries, a hamburger shop, a pharmacy, a Chunghwa Telecom store, and a karaoke club.

From Dec. 29, 2021, to Jan. 2, 2022, case No. 17,239 visited five times the Golden Voice Singers Club (金嗓歌友會) karaoke club at 303 Rongmin South Road in Taoyuan City's Zhongli District. The club was disinfected on Wednesday.

That evening Kuomintang Legislator Lu Ming-che (魯明哲), who is a resident of Zhongli District, posted "very worrying" photos of a New Year's Eve event at the karaoke club. Lu wrote that 1,000 people attended the event, and it can be seen in a photo taken that evening that people are packed tightly together as they eat at circular tables with not a single person wearing a mask.

Lu called on the Taoyuan City Government to immediately launch an epidemiological investigation and assess the situation. He urged those who attended the party to go to a testing station as soon as possible.

In response to the incident, the Taoyuan City Department of Public Health stated that the COVID case arrived at the event at 8:30 p.m., but that they did not participate in the main event, choosing to play mahjong in a side room instead. The health department stated that it will review the lists of contacts in the club's real-name registration system and will arrange for participants to be tested on Thursday (Jan. 6).

The director of the club, Chen Chung-yang (陳中央), was cited by Liberty Times as saying that about 800 members and family members participated in the New Year's Eve party on Dec. 31. The event required registration and ran from 9 p.m. to 12 p.m., with dinner served at about 10 p.m.

He said that the club has provided a list of attendees to the health department and will assist in making arrangements for COVID testing of members.

Update: 01/06/2022 2:30 p.m.

Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, on Thursday afternoon announced that case No. 17,239 has been confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant.