Taiwan reports 24 imported cases, the highest surge in months

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung speaks at a press conference on Monday. (Photo courtesy of the CECC)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) reported 24 imported COVID-19 cases on Monday, making it the highest surge in months.

Of the 24 new COVID-19 cases, 20 are from Indonesia (people aged between ages 20 to 40), 2 are from the U.S., while the other 2 are from the U.K. and the Philippines, respectively.

The 17 women and 3 Indonesia men arrived between Nov. 20 and Nov. 27. Aside from case 674 who experienced a sore throat on Nov. 29, all 19 Indonesians were asymptomatic upon arrival.

With the increase of imported cases from Indonesia, the CECC has asked health authorities to conduct mandatory tests on recently arrived migrant workers who are still under quarantine.

Of the 939 tested, 916 people’s tests were negative, while the rest was positive.

Among the 23 cases, 3 were reported on Nov. 29 while the other 20 infections were reported on Monday.

Of the other imported cases reported today, case 654 is a Taiwanese woman in her twenties who had traveled to the U.K. in September 2019 for school.

She began experiencing symptoms such as a runny nose, fever and an abnormal sense of smell on Nov. 7. She was then tested on Nov. 11 and the infection was confirmed two days later.

She returned to Taiwan on Nov. 27 despite not submitting a negative test report. She alerted local officials of her symptoms when she arrived and the infection was confirmed today.

As this violated regulations set forth by the CECC, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung warned that she may face a fine for the incident.

Both cases 669 and 670 are Taiwanese in their thirties. Case 669 traveled to the Philippines in June 2015 and began showing symptoms including coughs and headaches on Nov. 16.

Officials noted his symptoms and had him returned to Taiwan on Nov. 27. He tested negative upon arrival but the infection was confirmed a day later after a second test.

The CECC have since tracked down 27 possible contacts who are all under quarantine or self-heatlh management.

Case 670 had been studying in the U.S. since August and returned to Taiwan on Nov. 22.

After experiencing symptoms including a runny nose, coughs, and an abnormal sense of smell, he was tested on Nov. 27 and the infection was confirmed today.

Possible contacts of case 670 are still under investigation, the CECC said.

The other case from the U.S. is case 671, a Taiwanese man in his fifties. As an expat, he lived in the U.S. for some time before returning to Taiwan on Nov. 20.

During his quarantine period, he experienced discomfort and reported showing symptoms of sore throat, coughs and a runny nose.

He alerted health authorities on Nov. 27 and was subsequently tested. His infection was confirmed today as well.

As of press time, 675 cases have been confirmed so far, including 583 imported cases, 55 local infections, 36 cases aboard the Dunmu (敦睦) ship, 1 unknown case and 1 case (case 530) which later tested negative.

Among the confirmed cases, 7 people died, 565 were released from quarantine, and the rest are under quarantine.