CDC confirms 4th case of new coronavirus in Taiwan

Chuang Jen-hsiang speaks at a press conference on Jan. 26, 2020. (CNA)
Chuang Jen-hsiang speaks at a press conference on Jan. 26, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Taiwan reported its fourth confirmed case of the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on Sunday.

The patient, a middle-aged woman from northern Taiwan had spent three days in Wuhan, China, the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, before traveling to Europe from Jan. 16 to 25 and then returning home, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.

The patient is currently quarantined and under stable condition, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said, adding that officials will continue to monitor the health condition of passengers on the same flight.

Emergency Hotlines: 1922 or 0800-001-922

Chuang reminded people showing preliminary symptoms, including having a fever and coughing to report to health authorities at the airports and ports upon landing. Should any symptoms appear within 14 days of arrival, call 1922 or 0800-001-922 and go to the doctors according to instructions.

As of press time, the virus has claimed 56 lives and infected in China alone. Outside the epicenter, countries across the globe have reported cases of contagion, including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, the U.S., Canada, France, and Australia.

Face Masks Scarce

Earlier week, the third patient diagnosed of the coronavirus in Taiwan was fined NT$300,000 (US$10,000) on Thursday for failing to reveal critical details in his travel history to authorities, marking the first since the outbreak.

According to the central epidemic command center on Friday, the patient had spent two hours at the Golden Paris dance club (金巴黎舞廳) in Kaohsiung on Jan. 22 without a face mask.

While experts are still debating the efficiency of surgical masks to prevent being infected, the CDC continues to remind Taiwanese to wear face masks in the public.

However, locals are reporting trouble purchasing masks. Many are saying on social media that they tried several pharmacies yet still cannot get face masks. Some said that they tried to purchase online.

Contrary to local reports, the government had promised sufficient storage of masks for the public and reiterated not to panic with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announcing that masks made in Taiwan will not be exported for at least one month.