Taipei, A total of 3,482 people linked to a cluster of COVID-19 cases at Taoyuan General Hospital are currently in quarantine, and more tests will be conducted among the medical staff in the coming weeks, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) officials said Wednesday.
The 3,482 individuals in quarantine, an increase from 3,262 on Tuesday, include contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospital employees, patients who were discharged from the hospital earlier this month, and their close contacts.
They will all be tested for COVID-19 before their quarantine ends and will be required to follow self-health management protocols for seven days after, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.
To date, 15 people linked to the hospital have been confirmed with COVID-19 — two doctors, four nurses, one migrant caregiver, three relatives of two of the nurses, two hospital patients, and three of their family members — since the first case in the cluster was reported on Jan. 12.
The CECC has not yet been able to identify how the two latest cases in the cluster became infected with the disease.
According to Chen, 143 medical workers linked to the cluster have completed quarantine and have tested negative for COVID-19, but they will not be returning to work anytime soon, in the interest of preventing cross infection.
Meanwhile, testing of the medical staff and patients at Taoyuan General Hospital will continue over the next few weeks, he said.
That includes 300 employees and nine patients at the hospital who had not been tested before, Chen said, adding that they will be given the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 in the next two days.
That group had been in a separate building at the hospital, away from the section where the 15 COVID-19 cases originated, which is why they were not listed as potential contacts or tested previously for the disease, he said.
On Feb. 4, there will be another round of testing, to include medical staff at the hospital who have not been quarantined and those who have completed their quarantine and are returning to work, Chen said.
According to Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), deputy chief of the CECC’s medical response division, that group will be given both PCR and antibody tests for COVID-19.
Taiwan on Wednesday reported three new imported COVID-19 cases and no new domestic infections.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel