Taiwan reports 2 imported, 2 local COVID-19 infections, tally at 838

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

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) reported 2 local and 2 more imported COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the tally to 838. 

Speaking in an impromptu press conference, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that the two local cases include a doctor in his thirties (case 838) and a nurse in her 20s (case 839). 

According to the CECC, case 838 had been taking care of a patient who had contracted COVID-19 and reported experiencing symptoms such as coughs and fevers on Jan. 8.

He was tested on Jan. 10 and the infection was confirmed today.

Case 839 is a nurse at the same hospital and lives with case 838. 

She was not in direct contact with the COVID-19 patient and developed symptoms such as coughs and fever on Jan. 9.

She was tested on Jan. 11 as a possible contact of case 838, and the infection was confirmed today.

As of press time, 464 possible contacts in the hospital have been listed by the CECC and have all been tested.

The results all came back negative and health authorities have also tracked down 56 possible contacts within the community, with 14 already tested, (including one, case 839, testing positive) and 42 others still undergoing tests.

The CECC explained that as soon as the infection was reported, they issued new regulations for the hospital in question.

The new regulations include not allowing patients who need hospitalization to seek medical attention there, asking the 39 medical personnel who were in contact with the COVID-19 patient to undergo quarantine and prohibit visitations.

Also, the CECC has started taking down the names of all people who assist patients, transferring patients to singular rooms to be observed for the upcoming 14 days, and administering a second COVID-19 test for all personnel 3 days later.

The other two cases reported today are both imported, with case 836 from the U.S. and case 837 from the U.K.

Case 836 is a Taiwanese woman in her 60s and had been living in the U.S. for a long time.

She traveled to Taiwan on Jan. 5 to visit family and submitted negative test results taken 3 days prior to boarding.

She developed symptoms including coughs, runny nose and excess of phlegm on Jan. 10, and the infection was confirmed today.

As she had been under quarantine, no possible contacts have been listed.

Meanwhile, case 837 is a man in his 30s from the U.K. who came to Taiwan on Dec. 29 for work purposes. 

He submitted the required documentations upon arrival, was tested for the “mutant COVID-19 virus” a day later, and results came back negative. 

He is asymptomatic and was tested on Jan. 11 when his quarantine period ended, with the infection confirmed today.

As he had been under quarantine, no possible contacts have been listed.

As of press time, 838 cases have been confirmed so far, including 741 imported cases, 58 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, 730 were released from quarantine, and the rest are under quarantine.