Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC spokesperson.
The same applies to the 12 passengers who sat in the two rows in front or behind the person returning from Hong Kong and crew members on that flight, he said.
As for the case of a Thai migrant worker in Bangkok who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Taiwan on Tuesday last week, Chuang said that 29 close contacts have been identified, including 18 who lived in the same dormitory — who have been placed in mandatory isolation — and 11 colleagues, who have been asked to practice self-health management.
The man, in his 30s, developed diarrhea on Wednesday, but did not develop a fever or other symptoms, but tested positive on Saturday in a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, Chuang said.
Of the 18 dorm mates, one person developed a cough and runny nose on Saturday and is being isolated at a hospital, while the others have been placed in a centralized quarantine facility, he said.
RT-PCR results for 28 were negative and one is still being tested, while nucleic acid-based testing for antibodies also was negative in 28 people, while one is still being tested, Chuang said.
An additional 160 people who work at the same company have also been given RT-PCR tests and none have displayed symptoms, and the CECC is checking National Health Insurance data to identify any migrant workers in the Taoyuan area who might have recently sought treatment for suspected COVID-19 symptoms, he said.
As for the new imported cases, No. 463 is a man in his 50s who traveled to the Philippines in March for work, the spokesman said.
He developed a fever, a cough, impaired sense of smell, diarrhea and weakness on Tuesday last week, and sought treatment and was tested for COVID-19 on Friday, but he did not receive the test result before he returned to Taiwan on Sunday, Chuang said.
The man had a slight fever upon arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, so he was tested for COVID-19 at the airport and taken to a centralized quarantine facility, the spokesman said.
Case No. 464 is man in his 30s, who has been working in Hong Kong since January, who began suffering chills and night sweats on July 16, but did not seek medical attention until he developed nasal congestion and an abnormal sense of smell on Thursday, he said.
Case No. 465 is a man in his 30s who had worked in the Philippines since January, and developed a cough, abnormal sense of smell, a sore throat and muscle pain on June 19, but tested negative for COVID-19 when he sought treatment, so he took over-the-counter cold medicine, Chuang said.
Both men reported their symptoms to airport officials and received their positive test results yesterday, he said.
Cases 466 and 467 are a married couple in their 70s who traveled to the Philippines in January to visit family, he said.
The woman (No. 467) developed a fever, a cough and shortness of breath on July 17, but took medicine on her own and did not seek treatment, he said.
However, she reported her symptoms before boarding Sunday’s flight and upon arrival, so she and her husband were tested at the airport, he added.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit