Health Minister says no plans to elevate epidemic warning yet

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Thursday that there are currently no plans to elevate the Level 2 epidemic warning.

Speaking at a routine press conference, Chen acknowledged the recent breakthrough cases of EVA Air pilots, and the Delta variant outbreak cases from a kindergarten in New Taipei City, but assured the public that the situation has not risen to Level 3 conditions yet.

Regarding suggestions that border control should be stricter, the isolation period days should be extended to 21 days, and that the rapid-testing should be conducted five times during that period, Chen replied that this would be discussed in future meetings with medical experts.

Chen explained that the situation is currently under control, adding that the risk of community spread of the Taoyuan infection cases (case 16119 and 16120) is extremely low.

He remarked that the second testing for possible contacts has not been completed yet, but even if new cases arise from the testing, the risk of community infections remains low.

According to Chen, possible contacts of cases 16119 and 16120 have already been tested once, with 314 out of 315 testing negative for the virus. Only case 16122 who is the child of case 16120 was confirmed to have contracted the virus.

In addition, 182 people “close contacts’ (密切接觸者) have been tested so far, and 180 have tested negative, while two are still being tested while another 15 are still waiting.