Taiwan to quarantine 5,000 on hospital’s COVID-19 cluster

FILE PHOTO: A man wears a protective mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while shopping before the Chinese New Year in Taipei, Taiwan, January 20, 2021. REUTERS / Ann Wang / File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan will more than double the number of people to be quarantined in their homes to more than 5,000 as it seeks to contain a rare domestic cluster of COVID-19 connected to a hospital, the minister said on Sunday. health.

While Taiwan has brought the pandemic under control through early and effective prevention, with the vast majority of its 890 cases of infection imported, it has since January 12 faced a small number of domestic transmissions in a hospital.

While the 15 people infected so far at the northern Taoyuan City Hospital are small compared to many other parts of the world, it has pissed off the government, which has called off many large-scale events related to the upcoming one. lunar new year.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters they would increase the number of people to be quarantined at home for 14 days who may have had contact with infected patients at the hospital group.

He estimated the number at around 5,000 people, compared to around 1,300 currently in quarantine.

The government has tested all those who were in quarantine and announced new cases among them as they are confirmed.

Taiwan has a well-established system to track those who have come into contact with confirmed cases and an electronic surveillance network to ensure people in quarantine stay at home.

Despite the new infections, Taiwan has only 95 active cases treated in hospital. The government is holding press conferences to announce the details of each new infection.

Report by Ben Blanchard; edited by David Evans

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