Seventy new cases of COVID-19 were yesterday reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC): 58 imported and 12 local, with nine of the local cases linked to an airport cluster and three to a new Taipei hospital cluster.
As of noon yesterday, 39 local cases had been linked to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport cluster.
Of the nine new airport cluster cases, two were family members of two previously infected airport janitors, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
The family members tested positive in home isolation, he said.
Also added to the airport cluster were three family members and four colleagues of previously infected cases.
Chen said that one family member — case No. 17,573 — is the mother of a child who contracted COVID-19 at the same after-school childcare center as another infected child, whose father (case No. 17,473) handles baggage carts at the airport and whose mother (case No. 17,472) is a personal care aide.
The two other family members are people who live three previously reported cases, including a man (case No. 17,471) who receives care from the female personal care aide (case No. 17,472), he said.
Five people in the family have tested positive, including two young children under the age of five, their parents and their uncle (case No. 17,471), he added.
Chen said that the four colleagues are employed at the same electronics manufacturing company as a previously reported case (case No. 17,507), who is a close friend of the personal care aide (case No. 17,472).
As the company has five cases of COVID-19, the Taoyuan City Government asked it to suspend operations yesterday, while the infected colleagues’ 280 workplace contacts were admitted to a centralized quarantine facility, he said.
On Monday evening, a new cluster of infections was reported at a hospital in Taipei, CECC specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said.
The first confirmed case in the cluster — case No. 17,570 — is a nurse in the hospital’s ward dedicated to caring for COVID-19 patients, Chang said.
Ward personnel are tested regularly for the virus, Chang said, adding that the nurse had tested negative on Friday, but had a sore throat on Sunday and a fever on Monday.
She tested positive on Monday and all ward personnel were immediately tested, Chang said.
Another nurse — case No. 17,571 — tested positive, but she is asymptomatic, Chang said, adding that the ward personnel were placed in isolation.
The cycle threshold values of the two nurses were relatively low — 13 and 15 — indicating higher viral loads, he said.
A close friend of case No. 17,570 had a sore throat on Monday and also tested positive later that day, he said.
Yesterday, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said that the two nurses work at Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxing branch, and the close contact of case No. 17,570 is her boyfriend.
Yesterday, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said that all elementary schools in the city would start winter break one week early, with the last day of classes being on Friday.
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