CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan confirms 8 new imported COVID-19 cases

Taipei, Taiwan on Thursday confirmed eight new imported cases of COVID-19 -- one from Oman, three from the Philippines and two each from Egypt and Vietnam -- bringing the total number of cases in the country to 998, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

One case involved a Taiwanese man, in his 30s, who went to Oman Feb. 1 for work purposes and returned to Taiwan March 5, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) said at a regular press briefing in Taipei Thursday.

Upon arrival in Taiwan, the man presented a negative COVID-19 test report that was obtained within three days of his travel, and he displayed no symptoms of the disease, Chuang said.

During his mandatory quarantine at hotel, the man reported a loss of smell, an itchy throat and a cough on March 14, Chuang said. He was tested for COVID-19 on March 16, and the results came back positive Thursday, Chuang added.

Three of the new cases were migrant workers from the Philippines -- one man and two women, all in their 30s, Chuang said.

They arrived in Taiwan on the same flight on March 3 and all presented negative COVID-19 test reports issued within three days of their flight, he said.

The three Filipinos were tested on March 16, before the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government designated facility, and the results on Thursday showed that they were infected with COVID-19, but they have been asymptomatic so far, Chuang said.

Two of the other cases were Taiwanese women in their 40s, who visited Egypt on March 5 to attend a relative’s funeral. While in Egypt, the two women developed symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, between March 10 and 16, but they did not seek medical attention, Chuang said.

Upon their return to Taiwan on March 16, the women provided negative COVID-19 test results issued within three days of their departure from Egypt, but they were tested again at the airport, after they reported their symptoms, he said.

One of them was immediately hospitalized because her symptoms were severe, while the other was quarantined at a designated facility, Chuang said.

The two Taiwanese women were confirmed Thursday to have contracted COVID-19, he said.

The other cases reported Thursday were two Chinese sailors in their 30s, who arrived in Taiwan on Feb. 8, on a ship that had been docked in Vietnam for a month, Chuang said.

They were quarantined at a Taiwan hotel until Feb. 22, after which they returned to their ship for a period of self-health management, Chuang said.

On Feb. 26, however, the two sailors were identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 patient, and they were placed in home quarantine and asked to conduct self-health management, he said. On March 16, they took COVID-19 tests in preparation for their return to China, and the results on Thursday were positive, Chuang said.

The eight new COVID-19 cases brought the total number in Taiwan to 998, with 882 classified as imported. Of the total, 958 patients have recovered, 10 have died, and 30 are in the hospital, according to CECC statistics as of Thursday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel