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South Taiwan mayor blasts COVID case for not reporting wedding attendance

Tainan mayor says citizens will not forgive individual if outbreak begins

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Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che criticizes a COVID-positive man who did not report his travel history to authorities. (Facebook, Huang Wei-che photo)

Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che criticizes a COVID-positive man who did not report his travel history to authorities. (Facebook, Huang Wei-che photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In a press conference on Friday (Jan. 21), Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) condemned an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 for not reporting his travel history from Kaohsiung to Tainan to authorities.

Tainan City Government Public Health Bureau chief Hsu I-lin (許以霖) said the man in his 20s (case no. 18,212) drove to the Shan Jan Seafood Banquet Hall in Anping District to attend a wedding on Sunday (Jan. 16). He developed a cough on Monday (Jan. 17), and later tested positive for COVID when he was listed as a co-worker of case no. 18,156 at Kaohsiung Harbor.

However, the man did not tell authorities about attending the wedding, and instead notified his classmates, who were also present at the event, about testing positive. The Tainan Public Health Bureau only found out about the man’s travel history when one of his classmates called the anti-pandemic hotline to ask about getting a test.

Hsu said case no. 18,212 claimed he did not go around making toasts at the wedding but did use the restroom.

Mayor Huang thanked the health departments of Kaohsiung and Tainan for working together and getting into action quickly in response to the incident.

“However, I must condemn case no. 18,212 for setting a very bad example. He knew he tested positive, that he came to Tainan for the wedding; he knew enough to notify his friends that he tested positive and tell them to take tests,” Huang said. “Yet did he think of the other people he did not know who sat at the same table as him?”

“It’s been five days since the 16th; if this results in an outbreak, I am sure no citizen in Tainan would forgive you,” Huang added.

Though there has not been a positive case in Tainan for 208 consecutive days, everyone must gather oneself and take proper preventative measures, said Huang.

The restaurant has been disinfected, while tests have been arranged for the 46 restaurant employees, Hsu said. As the 11 guests who sat at the same table as case no. 18,212 were from regions outside of Tainan, the Public Health Bureau has notified their local health departments about their contact.

Those who visited the restaurant or attended the wedding between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday and registered for contact tracing have been notified to take a PCR test, Hsu added. Those who went to the restaurant without registering should take a test as well.