Taiwanese businessman returning from Belize free of swine flu

Taiwan invited by the WHO to participate in a teleconference to discuss about vaccines

A couple walks in a MRT station yesterday with masks on their faces. Department of Health Minister Yeh Chin-chuan said the government is releasing 2 m...

Face masks arrive

A couple walks in a MRT station yesterday with masks on their faces. Department of Health Minister Yeh Chin-chuan said the government is releasing 2 m...

A Taiwanese businessman arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from Belize with high fever did not have the H1N1 swine flu virus, the Centers for Disease Control announced yesterday.
The traveler, surnamed Chiu, showed a fever of 39.6劍 when he was tested just before disembarking yesterday morning, the CDC said. He was immediately taken to Taoyuan General Hospital for tests, which showed during the afternoon that he had not been infected with the deadly virus.
Chiu's son accompanied him on the trip from Belize, a Central American ally of Taiwan bordering on Mexico, via Los Angeles but was not taken to hospital after his arrival.
A group of 73 Taiwanese returned from Mexico on a flight yesterday evening. The travelers had been told to sit separately, at least three rows away from other passengers, as a precautionary measure, the CDC said.
Meanwhile, the 16 Taiwanese citizens quarantined inside the Metro Park Hotel in Hong Kong with up to 300 other guests were reportedly doing fine and showed no symptoms of the flu, reports said.
A 25-year-old Mexican man staying at the hotel after a trip from Mexico via Shanghai was diagnosed with H1N1, leading to the whole building being closed off from the outside world for a week until next Friday evening.
The CDC later tracked down 27 people who had been on the same flight as the man and entered Taiwan, but none tested positive for the swine flu. A Taiwanese student who spent a month in Mexico and registered high fever upon arriving back on Sunday morning also proved not to have been infected.
After complaints about unavailability and hoarding, the government announced it would begin releasing 2 million masks yesterday at the price of NT$30 for a packet of five. The country's four major convenience store chains would have all the masks for sale by Thursday noon, though the government emphasized only medical staff and customs officers really needed any at this stage. The CDC said the masks would carry its logo.
Beginning yesterday, the government received the right to present special swine flu information broadcasts at 7 and 9 p.m. on 15 television channels for the next two months.
Taiwan's CDC and the National Health Research Institutes were invited by the World Health Organization to participate in a yesterday evening teleconference discussion about vaccines against the flu. Only last week, Taiwan learned it would be allowed to attend the May 18-27 World Health Assembly in Geneva as an observer after 12 failed annual applications.
The expansion of the swine flu virus across the world is also threatening to affect the president's rare overseas travel plans.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a yellow travel alert for El Salvador yesterday after the Central American country recorded its second case of H1N1. The change means travelers are asked to exert caution when visiting the country. Taiwan has issued yellow alerts for 18 countries and territories, including the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea and several European countries where H1N1 cases have been confirmed. A red alert is in operation for Mexico, in effect banning Taiwanese citizens from traveling there.
The decision casts doubt on the likelihood of President Ma Ying-jeou attending the inauguration of the Taiwanese ally's new President, Mauricio Funes, on June 1. Ma is also scheduled to visit Guatemala and Honduras, two other allies in the region.
The government has said it will consider the impact of the swine flu virus, but has not made a final decision on whether the president should stay home.
Noting that the WHO is working on a global A(H1NI) vaccine production plan, Yeh said the country will take part in the global action in line with WHO instructions.

Updated : 2021-04-14 15:02 GMT+08:00