TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Taiwan saw its first asymptomatic 2019-nCoV case over the weekend, as the latest member of a family of four was reported to have contracted the novel coronavirus.
The total number of infected reached 18 on Sunday (Feb. 10), including the younger son of a middle-aged couple who traveled to Italy with layovers in Hong Kong who were confirmed to have been infected by the Wuhan coronavirus earlier last week along with their elder son, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心).
The latest patient has yet shown symptoms, and was only tested of the virus after his brother’s 2019-nCoV results came back positive, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at Sunday’s press conference.
The couple marked the first time since the epidemic hit Taiwan that nationals with no direct links to the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak were infected.
This raises the question as to whether the government should introduce more stringent epidemic response measures, including releasing information regarding the neighborhoods visited by confirmed cases and extend quarantine mandates to a larger population.
The CECC has announced that travelers who arrive in Taiwan via mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau will be required to undergo a mandatory 14-days quarantine period, effective today (Feb. 10).
Across the strait, the novel coronavirus has killed 908 people, infecting more than 35,000, as of Sunday (Feb. 4), according to official numbers released by China’s National Health Commission.
That number is highly likely to have been underreported as medical facilities are terribly strained and many people showing symptoms have been sent home without being test of the 2019-nCoV.