TAIPEI (CNA) — Four military personnel from a COVID-19 infection cluster on board the Navy’s Panshi Fast Combat Support Ship tested positive on Sunday, as a result of which the ship’s crew will remain in quarantine, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The latest update brought the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan to 436.
At a special press briefing Sunday evening, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said the four new confirmed cases were all asymptomatic and from the Panshi, which was part of a three-ship “Fleet of Friendship” that visited Palau from March 12-15.
The cluster infections on the Panshi began on April 18, leading to all 713 personnel in the fleet — including the crew of the Yueh Fei, a Cheng Kung-class guided-missile frigate, and the Kang Ding, a Lafayette-class frigate — being collectively quarantined that day to prevent community spread of the virus.
The four new cases have been admitted to hospital, while the rest of the Panshi’s crew will remain in quarantine and be tested again in 24 hours, Chen said.
As no new infections were found in the crew of the Yueh Fei and the Kang Ding, their combined crew of 367 will be released from quarantine Monday morning and subject to self-health management at home, the CECC said in a statement.
Currently, a total of 35 members of the Panshi crew have tested positive for COVID-19, including the four new cases confirmed Sunday.