Staff at Taiwan’s office in the US test negative in 2nd screening

TECRO Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) attends an event of Sept. 18, 2020. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. (TECRO, 駐美代表處) confirmed that nine staff people tested negative for COVID-19 in a second screening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) said Thursday, stressing that TECRO will arrange for a third screening.

TECRO reported on Nov. 25 that nine people tested positive for COVID-19 and that one of them had been in contact with Taiwan Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) who had started a quarantine.

Speaking at a regular press briefing, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that the nine people tested negative after undergoing the more accurate PCR test (Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction). With one positive and one negative, authorities said they will arrange a third test for the sake of caution.

Asked whether Taiwan should consider opening a “travel bubble” (旅遊泡泡) with Japan, Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Secretary-General Kuo Chung-shi (郭仲熙) said that it would be difficult to establish a travel bubble in the short term amid the government’s plan to tighten border control to control the pandemic.

The risk of an epidemic in Japan is still very high, and it is too early to allow travelers to visit Taiwan and Japan, Kuo added, stressing that the opening is only for business people for the time being.