Taiwan denies mistreatment of British couple in quarantine

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) on Thursday responded to complaints by a British couple (Natalie Dawson and Rohan Pixley) who is in quarantine in Taiwan, stressing that local authorities haven’t mistreated anyone.

Since March 18, all foreigners from Europe entering Taiwan need to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine. A British couple was subsequently placed under quarantine, but the mother of the young woman told to the BBC that Taiwan’s quarantine was similar to living in jail.

According to the BBC, Dawson’s mother complained that her daughter and boyfriend were originally planning on traveling to Australia, but due to the virus, they decided to stay in Taiwan for a while.

They then received instructions to undergo a 14-day quarantine without further notice. The couple was previously staying in a hotel but was reportedly taken by health authorities to an “unknown location” for isolation.

Dawson’s mother said that the quarantine environment was terrible, adding that the rooms are dirty, there is no hot water and no way to wash clothes.

Though meals were provided, she reports that they are of “poor quality and meager portions.” Dawson’s mother said that her daughter has a strong character but the conditions are just too awful.

The BBC reported that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is assisting the woman and authorities have raised concerns about her situation to Taiwan authorities.

The article was met with skepticism from netizens as no photos of the alleged terrible conditions were provided. As statements were released by the mother of Dawson and locations were not specified, many didn’t believe that no hot water was provided to the couple.

Regarding this complaint, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung reassured the public that authorities are doing all they can to understand more details about the case.

The CECC confirmed that the couple is indeed in Taiwan, but stressed that they are not being mistreated.