TAIPEI (CNA) — A Filipino woman who tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong after transiting through Taiwan on Friday was probably infected in the Philippines, but not in Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.
According to information obtained by the CECC, the woman flew from Manila to Taiwan on Friday then transferred the same day to a flight to Hong Kong, where she was confirmed on Saturday to have contracted COVID-19, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told reporters.
Under Taiwan’s current regulations pertaining to transit passengers, they are permitted to remain in the country’s main airport for no more than eight hours, he said.
Given that the woman tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday after her arrival in Hong Kong the previous day, it is highly unlikely that she had contracted the virus in Taiwan, Chuang said.
Theoretically, it is impossible to test positive for COVID-19 hours after exposure to the virus, he said, adding that the woman was probably infected in the Philippines.
According to Chuang, the woman is not a Taiwan citizen, and Hong Kong authorities have not provided any relevant information such as her passport number or flight details.
He said that since the CECC was informed about the case Saturday, it has been seeking the relevant information and will decide whether contract tracing in Taiwan is necessary.
During the woman’s transit stop is Taiwan on Friday, she was assisted by airport and airline staff who were all wearing personal protective equipment, according to Chuang.