Health Minister Chen Shih-chung confirmed today two local Covid-19 infections during the press briefing on the pandemic, after several newspapers reported yesterday that a Northern Taiwan hospital was evacuating and relocating some patients to other hospitals.

Taiwan has recorded three cases of domestic infections since April 12. The first such case in more than eight months was reported last December, which ended the world’s longest virus-free streak.

A physician, in his 30s, tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday after showing symptoms last Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. Health authorities said he caught the virus while treating a patient with Covid-19 in the hospital where he works.

A nurse in the same hospital, who has been in close contact with the physician, also contracted Covid-19. She has not treated patients with the virus, but she showed symptoms last Saturday and tested positive yesterday.

The CECC has identified three public places that the physician, Taiwan’s 838th case of the virus, visited between January 8 to 9: the Metro Walk Shopping Center in Taoyuan, a Starbucks branch and a Zhenyu Hardware store, both on Section 2 of Guoji Road, Taoyuan.

Later on the same day, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang corrected the list of locations. The physician was mistakenly reported to have visited the Metro Walk Shopping Center.

Several shopping malls in Taoyuan, including the Metro Walk Shopping Center, have announced that they are disinfecting their premises, CNA reported.

Last February, Taiwan saw a cluster infection at a Northern Taiwan hospital. A patient who tested positive passed the virus to a cleaner and three nurses.

Health authorities said it is unlikely to be the case this time. The CECC has identified 464 people, who were possibly in contact with the physician, and they have all tested negative for the coronavirus.

In response to the new infections, Chen said the hospital’s emergency room stopped accepting new patients yesterday. Most visits to the hospital are prohibited and if patients come for an appointment, they are allowed to show up with only one person, who needs to leave their name at the hospital entrance.

Chen also said 39 medical workers have been asked to isolate at home and all the hospital’s workers will be tested again in three days.

In addition to the two local cases, the CECC announced today two Covid-19 cases in travelers arriving from the United States and United Kingdom. Taiwan has to date reported 839 infections and 7 deaths.

(The article has been updated to reflect the latest developments.)

READ NEXT: Taiwan Tightens Border Control After Reporting First Case of Covid-19 Variant

TNL Editor: Bryan Chou, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more story updates in your news feed, please be sure to follow our Facebook.