TAIPEI (CNA) — Nine of the 129 passengers who returned to Taiwan early Tuesday after being stranded in India and Bangladesh because of the COVID-19 outbreak have been tested for the disease after reporting possible symptoms, immigration officials said.
The nine passengers declared in their health declarations that they had mild coughs over the past 14 days, and they were tested for COVID-19 as a precaution.
A total of 114 Taiwanese and 15 foreign nationals working in Taiwan arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on the specially arranged China Airlines (CAL) flight from Delhi at 2:50 a.m.
After the nine passengers with possible COVID-19 symptoms were tested, all 129 were taken in eight buses to a designated quarantine facility in central Taiwan, officials said.
If any of the nine people tested are confirmed to have contracted the disease, they will be taken to the hospital; those who test negative will stay at the facility for 14 days together with the other passengers, according to the officials.
Some passengers said it was quite an ordeal to return home, including an engineer working in India who said he had to agree to “voluntarily resign” and take a 36-hour ride from where he worked 1,650 kilometers from Delhi.
A member of a Taiwanese business association in Bangladesh said it took him some NT$100,000 (US$3,310) to first fly from the country to India and onwards to Taiwan, after waiting for around a month.
He said there remained about 100 Taiwanese businesspeople in Bangladesh for work.
CAL has a regularly scheduled flight to Delhi twice a week, but it has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The flight Monday was specially arranged to help Taiwanese in South Asia return home.