Three Locally Acquired Covid-19 Cases, International School Closes for Week

Three Locally Acquired Covid-19 Cases, International School Closes for Week
Photo Credit: CNA

What you need to know

Three domestically acquired cases of Covid-19 have led to a school closure in New Taipei City and the partial closure of a school in Taoyuan.

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced six new cases of Covid-19 today. Three were described as imported, and three cases were reported as acquired domestically.

Of the three domestic cases, one was a family member of an imported case and two were family members of different pilots who tested positive for antibodies. The government referred to the three patients as cases 1112, 1113, and 1114.

The CECC has identified four locations patient no. 1112 visited last week before testing positive for the coronavirus: The Beishin Activity Center in Pingzhen, April 20 between 1:20 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; a noodle shop in Zhongli, April 20 at around 4:00 p.m.; a dance hall in Zhongli, April 20 between 5:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and Zhongpu Elementary School in Taoyuan, April 21 between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Pingzhen, Zhongli, and Taoyuan are districts in the city of Taoyuan.

The New Taipei City Department of Health identified 193 teachers and students at the Linkou campus of Kang Chiao International School who might have been in contact with patient no. 1113 and said they will be tested in the coming days.

The school, in response to New Taipei City government’s request, announced today that all classes will be suspended until May 5 while campus facilities are cleaned and disinfected.

Taoyuan’s Simen Elementary School has instituted remote learning in certain classes in response to Taoyuan city government reporting that family members of patient no. 1114 attend the school.

The three cases were announced five days after the CECC reported the first locally-transmitted infection of Covid-19 registered in Taiwan from a China Airlines (CAL) pilot, who tested positive for the virus in Australia on April 20. In the days since, there have been several cases linked to pilots arriving from abroad, and in those who share their household.

防範疫情擴散  華航機師接種AZ疫苗
Photo Credit: CNA
China Airlines pilots waiting on line for Covid-19 vaccination, April 26, 2021.

Two family members of the CAL pilot tested positive in Taiwan for Covid-19 on April 23 and 27. Today, two family members of pilots who tested positive for antibodies, patients no. 1113 and 1114, were confirmed as new domestic cases.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, said today the risk of community spread is low, despite a delay in confirming local infections.

Before the April 20 positive test result, Taiwan had last recorded a domestic case two and a half months ago, when a family member of a nurse at Taoyuan Hospital tested positive for Covid-19. Six of her family members were later confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Since April 23, a total of six pilots have been diagnosed with Covid-19, including a colleague of the CAL pilot. Two of them were found to have contracted the British variant of the virus. As of today, the government has not identified the source of infection in these cases.

CAL said on April 26 it will encourage aircraft crew and other frontline workers to get vaccinated. Minister Chen told reporters today that it’s “a good idea” to expand vaccine eligibility to family members of aircraft crew.

READ NEXT: First Taiwanese-Developed Vaccine May Be Available as Early as July

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

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