Taipei gov’t mulling quarantine shelters for foreign visitors

The city government has expressed hopes of setting up makeshift shelters that could be used to quarantine foreign visitors, if necessary. (CNA)
The city government has expressed hopes of setting up makeshift shelters that could be used to quarantine foreign visitors, if necessary. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said Wednesday the city government is considering designating shelters in which foreign visitors could be quarantined, if necessary, as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Huang said such shelters might become necessary in view of the fact that the quarantine period for suspected cases of the virus is 14 days, and visitors might have difficulty finding a suitable place to stay for that period.

The city government has been discussing the matter with the central government in the hope of setting up makeshift shelters that could be used to quarantine foreign visitors, if necessary, she said.

Huang made the statement after it was reported that two foreign visitors, who were required to remain in home quarantine in accordance with Taiwan’s regulations, were not permitted to stay at the hotel they had booked in advance.

After the hotel refused to allow them to check in, the Taipei City government helped them to find another hotel, when it learned of the incident, Huang said.

Citing municipal statistics, Huang said 120 people are currently in “home isolation” at their residences in Taipei, with four of them showing symptoms of the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, 1,355 people were ordered to remain in “home quarantine,” but five of them have gone missing, and 1,343 are showing no symptoms, she said.

As of Wednesday, more than 45,000 COVID-19 cases and over 1,100 deaths had been confirmed worldwide, with China reporting the majority. Taiwan has confirmed 18 cases of the disease.