Taipei, A Vietnamese migrant worker, who recently tested positive for COVID-19 in his home country after leaving Taiwan, was likely infected while he was in quarantine there, Vietnam health authorities told Taiwan on Wednesday.
The message was delivered via the National IHR Focal Point, a communication channel set up under the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.
The patient, a Vietnamese national in his 40s who was working in northern Taiwan, returned home on Aug. 7, according to the CECC.
He tested negative for COVID-19 at the airport upon arrival, before being transported to a Vietnamese government-run quarantine facility, where he was put in a room with two other people, the CECC said.
The two Vietnamese roommates – one who had returned from United States and the other from Japan – began showing symptoms on Aug. 12 and were later confirmed to have COVID-19, the CECC said.
The Vietnamese migrant worker from Taiwan began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, a sore throat and abdominal cramps and tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 17, the CECC said.
He was deemed by Vietnamese authorities to have been infected by his roommates, the CECC said, adding that it was closing the case.
Three other cases of COVID-19 linked to Taiwan were also declared closed by the CECC on Wednesday, after all of their known contacts in Taiwan tested negative for the disease and COVID-19 antibodies.
The first is the case of a Belgium engineer in his 20s, who entered Taiwan on May 3 and went into the mandatory two-week quarantine.
While in Taiwan, the man was working as a technician in Taipei and Changhua County and had no symptoms of the disease. In late July, when the man decided to return to his country, a COVID-19 test was required before he could travel, and he tested positive.
He was hospitalized in Taiwan, and the CECC traced 473 contacts, all of whom tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and antibodies, CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said Wednesday.
Based on the tests and other factors, the CECC has concluded that the patient most likely was infected with COVID-19 before he entered Taiwan, Chang said.
The patient reported experiencing a loss of taste and smell when he was in Belgium in March, and the gas exchange function in his lungs indicated that if he did indeed have a COVID-19 infection, it was at least three months ago, according to Chang.
The second case deemed closed by the CECC is that of a Taiwanese woman in her 50s, who returned from abroad on June 20 and left on July 27 for Hong Kong, Chang said.
She tested negative for COVID-19 upon arrival in Hong Kong, but was tested again after she broke quarantine there on Aug. 4, and the results came back positive a day later, Chang said.
The woman tested negative on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, however, which is not the usual pattern for a COVID-19 patient, Chang said, adding that as Hong Kong has provided limited information, it is hard to determine her situation.
However, the 37 people identified in Taiwan’s contract tracing have all tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and antibodies, Chang said, adding that the CECC has decided to close that case as well.
The final case is a Japanese engineer in his 30s, who arrived in Taiwan on June 15 for work purposes, was in home quarantine until June 29, and returned to Japan on Aug. 1, Chang said.
He tested positive during Japan’s mandatory COVID-19 screening of all arrivals, but has not shown any symptoms so far, Chang said.
As in the other two cases, the man’s 104 known contacts in Taiwan have all tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and antibodies, Chang said.
In all three cases, the CECC has not found anyone in Taiwan who could have been the source of infection, neither has it identified anyone else who was infected by the patients, Chang said.
As the cases have not had any impact on Taiwan, they have been closed, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel