Taipei, The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Monday that it will set up a “command post” at a Taoyuan government hospital where five medical workers have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as implement additional safety measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
The command post will be in charge of coordinating communication and other efforts taken by the hospital, local health authorities, government quarantine centers, experts, and the CECC, in response to the cluster infection, said Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.
The command post will be headed by Wang Pi-sheng (王必勝), deputy head of the CECC’s Medical Response Division, Chen said.
To date, two doctors and three nurses at the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 152 hospital employees with whom they have interacted at the hospital have been quarantined, while 46 others have been asked to follow self-health management protocols.
Other measures being taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 include closing and disinfecting wards the infected doctors and nurses have worked in and moving patients staying there to isolated rooms, Chen said.
The hospital has also stopped accepting new inpatients. Current inpatients at the hospital can only be accompanied by one person each, and they cannot have visitors, according to Chen.
Patients in negative pressure isolation rooms at the hospital have all been transferred out, to relieve pressure on the remaining medical personnel, Chen said.
In light of concerns over the hospital’s COVID-19 prevention measures, Chen said that infection control experts will stay there for the time being to evaluate and suggest improvements.
All medical workers at the hospital have been instructed to report any symptoms they have, however minor, and seek treatment only at the hospital they work, Chen said.
Although Chen refused to identify the hospital publicly over the past week, other than to say it is in northern Taiwan, he accidentally let slip on Monday that the hospital was the Taoyuan General Hospital under the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
When asked about the slip a few minutes later, he officially confirmed that the government hospital was where the cluster occurred.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel