Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Official vows to take responsibility for possible spread of tuberculosis

Official vows to take responsibility for possible spread of tuberculosis

A health official promised yesterday to take responsibility for the possible spread of tuberculosis after a local couple infected with the disease flew to China via Hong Kong on July 21 in defiance of a travel ban.
In a letter to all 274 passengers and 11 crew members who flew from Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan to Hong Kong on the same plane as the couple did, Steve H. S. Kuo, director-general of the Centers for Disease Control under the Department of Health said his office will take responsibility for the medical treatment of any of the passengers who may have been infected with the disease.
Kuo said that his office has identified the DNA of the EAI-2 strain carried by the couple and that the office can determine through tests whether any of the passengers were infected by the couple.
The CDC is also urging all passengers of the same flight to contact their local health bureau if they develop any discomfort. CDC stressed that since the flight was shorter than 8 hours, the chance of virus transmission is minimal, however, the center will take full responsibility if anyone gets sick due the government's failure of barring the couple from make the trip.
The husband, who has multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) , and the wife, who has infectious TB, were tracked down by Chinese health authorities at a hotel in the northern part of Jiangsu Province late Thursday night and were escorted Friday by Chinese quarantine officials to a hospital in Nanjing.
Starting from July 1, the Department of Health has forbidden MDR-TB patients from taking any international flights and those with contagious TB from taking international flights that last eight hours or longer. Violators are subject to fines of up to NT$150,000 (US$4,557)
In this case, the restrictions affect the husband but not the wife, since it takes less than eight hours to fly from Taiwan to China.
As no exit control is currently in place, the CDC only discovered the matter July 24 after comparing the database of TB patients with outbound traveler lists provided by the National Immigration Agency. The CDC then sought China's assistance to try to track down the man.


Updated : 2021-10-21 22:39 GMT+08:00