The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week.
The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same hospital.
Photo courtesy of the Central Epidemic Command Center
Chen yesterday said the two doctors came in contact with each other on Jan. 10, when they were treating a patient of case No. 856.
As case No. 856 had previously tested negative for COVID-19, and since the two doctors wore masks and other protective equipment during their interaction on Jan. 10, case No. 856 had been under self-health management, but not quarantined, Chen said.
However, when a third colleague — a nurse — tested positive on Saturday, case No. 856 was tested again along with 265 other employees at the hospital, and his result came back positive yesterday, said Chen, who again refused to name the hospital.
Of the 265 employees, another 224 have tested negative, while the tests of the remaining 40 are being processed, Chen added.
While the latest infection is the fourth case related to the hospital, Chen said the CECC is not considering locking down the hospital, as the source of the infection has been identified and “the situation is being actively contained.”
Regarding the second infected nurse, the CECC said that three family members she lives with have tested negative for COVID-19.
The test of another person living in the same residence is being processed, it said.
As for contacts of the newly infected doctor, the CECC said contact-tracing was still ongoing.
Patients who were cared for by the infected medical personnel have all been transferred to single rooms, Chen said.
Besides the locally transmitted case, Taiwan also reported three new imported cases yesterday, all Indonesian migrant workers in their 20s who came to Taiwan to work as fishers, the CECC said.
Meanwhile, Chen had become the focus of concern after he was seen coughing and wearing a mask during a news conference on Saturday night.
Chen yesterday said he had had a fever and a cough, and underwent two COVID-19 tests to rule out the possibility of infection.
His test result was negative, Chen said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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