Taiwan first 2019-nCoV patient discharged, sends message to nationals

This image shows a part of a handwritten letter from the first confirmed coronavirus patient in Taiwan. (Courtesy of the CECC.)
This image shows a part of a handwritten letter from the first confirmed coronavirus patient in Taiwan. (Courtesy of the CECC.)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Taiwan’s first coronavirus patient has recovered and will be escorted home today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced on Thursday.

Health experts convened to determine whether the patient should be discharged after several test results come back negative, including samples taken from the patient’s feces, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.

The now ex-patient produced a letter and two recordings to fellow nationals, in which she gave details of her life as the first confirmed 2019-nCoV case in the country.

“I want to say sorry” for breaking Taiwan’s virus-free record, she was heard on the brink of tearing up in the recordings.

She thanked her caregivers and everyone on the front line of the battle against the epidemic.

“It is great to be home,” she said.

Taking a step forward as now a former coronavirus patient, she called on Taiwanese residents to “complain less” and “be more grateful” in times of crisis.

“You must report truthfully if you’re sick or not feeling well,” she said, “this can save yourself and your family.”

The ex-patient is a Taiwanese citizen in her late 30s who worked in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the origin of the outbreak. The CECC revealed her case to the public on Jan. 21.

According to the command center, she reported to epidemic response officials at Taoyuan International Airport upon landing.

“This should come as a piece of relatively more relieving news to nationals,” Chen said.

The nation reported two more cases of the novel coronavirus on the same day, bringing the total number to 13.

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