CORONAVIRUS/Kang Chiao school suspends classes after COVID-19 case reported

Taipei-Kang Chiao International School in New Taipei's Linkou District will suspend all in-person classes for a week, as a student there has tested positive for COVID-19, the city's health department said Wednesday.

The school will conduct all classes virtually until May 5 and 193 people who had been in contact with the patient, a male elementary school student, will be tested, the department said.

The boy is one of two new domestic COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday linked to China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan's largest carriers.

A total of nine cargo pilots at CAL have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. However, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has not been able to determine how they became infected.

To see if there has been a chain of transmission at the company, the CECC has been conducting polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and antibody tests on the carrier's 1,279 pilots.

Three pilots, who have no record of having been infected with COVID-19, tested positive for the coronavirus' antibodies on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the wife of one of the three pilots and the son of another, tested positive for COVID-19.

Four other family members of the two pilots also tested positive for the virus' antibodies and the results indicate that they were infected some time ago, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (???), who heads the CECC, at a press briefing.

"These are clearly cluster infections that happened a long time ago" within these two families, Chen said.

Including the latest cases, 13 people linked to CAL have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. These are two Indonesian cargo pilots (one of whom was confirmed with COVID-19 in Australia), two family members of one of the Indonesian pilots, seven Taiwanese cargo pilots and two family members of two other Taiwanese cargo pilots.

The boy who tested positive Wednesday goes to the Kang Chiao International school along with one of his siblings.

The infected wife's two children, one of whom tested positive for the coronavirus' antibodies, goes to Simen Elementary School in Taoyuan.

According to a Taoyuan City government spokesperson, the classes of the two children at Simen will be conducted virtually until May 4, while all remaining classes at the school will continue as usual.

At the press briefing, Chen said that there is little chance that the the newly confirmed patients have spread the disease to the wider community.

"If there had been transmissions, we would have seen cases," Chen said. He added that the CECC will still conduct more tests on these cases' contacts.

Besides the two cases linked to CAL, Taiwan reported another domestic COVID-19 case that day, as well as three imported cases.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel