Taipei, Patients listed as high risk who have been discharged or transferred to other hospitals from Taoyuan General Hospital since Jan. 6 must go into quarantine because of COVID-19 fears, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday.
Those to be isolated are all from high-risk zones of the government-run hospital, the source of a recent COVID-19 cluster infection.
They include 191 patients and more than 100 people who were listed as those caring for or looking after patients at the hospital (such as caregivers or relatives), according to CECC data.
CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who is also the health minister, said the move was part of the “Taoyuan Hospital Program,” aimed at containing the spread of the highly-contagious and deadly coronavirus at the hospital.
There have been 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the hospital cluster since it was first reported on Jan. 12.
Two doctors, four nurses, one migrant caregiver, one hospital patient, and four family members of two of the nurses and the patient have contracted the disease to date through the hospital cluster.
As the number continued to grow, Chen on Wednesday ordered most inpatients to be removed from the hospital, either by discharging them or transferring them to other facilities, to make way for the hospital to be thoroughly sanitized the following day.
Under the new Taoyuan Hospital Program, Chen said those patients who have been transferred or discharged from high-risk zones must be tested for COVID-19 on the day when their 14-day quarantine period ends.
Patients discharged from low-risk zones of the hospital from Jan. 6 to 19 will be given a digital “self-health management” marking on their national health insurance cards to remind medical institutions to ask patients about their contact history if they seek treatment.
But those facilities cannot refuse care to patients marked as under “self-health management.”
Also under the program, the Taoyuan hospital will not offer any medical services in the coming days except to people requiring follow-up outpatient care to ensure the continuity of their treatment.
Meanwhile, Taoyuan General Hospital said Friday that all staff members are prohibited from participating in meetings or delivering speeches in counties and cities outside Taoyuan.
They are also not allowed to offer services outside the hospital, according to new quarantine control rules issued by Wang Pi-sheng (王必勝), head of the Taoyuan hospital’s command center, on the hospital’s communication network.
As of Thursday, 319 hospital employees were doing 14-day quarantines, with 212 of them staying at government-run quarantine centers, according to data from the command post.
They will be tested on the 14th day of quarantine and will be able to return to the hospital to work if their test turns out negative, according to the quarantine rules.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel