TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid concerns about the movements of a doctor and nurse who had been diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus in northern Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Jan. 13) announced the complete list of locations the couple had visited while they may have been infectious.
On Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 12), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that a doctor (Case №838) had been infected with COVID-19 at a hospital in northern Taiwan. Once contact tracing was carried out, the center discovered that his girlfriend (Case №839), who is a nurse at the hospital, had also contracted the virus.
After there had been much speculation about the couple’s movements in the days leading up to their diagnosis, Chen on Wednesday released the complete list of locales where they had either visited together or individually over four days. The establishments they visited from Jan. 7–10 included PX Mart, Starbucks, Zhenyu Hardware, Poya, and the Metro Walk Shopping Center, all in Taoyuan City.
According to a chart provided by the CECC, the nurse visited the PX Mart on Ciwen Road in Taoyuan City’s Taoyuan District from 6:15 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. on Jan. 7. Two days later, on Saturday, the nurse and the doctor visited the Starbucks on Guoji Road from 12:40 p.m. to 1:20 p.m.
Next, they headed together to Zhenyu Hardware, also on Guoji Road in the city’s Taoyuan District, where they stayed from 1:20 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. On Jan. 10, while the doctor reported for duty at the hospital, the nurse went to the PX Mart on Daxin 1st Street in the city’s Luzhu District from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
From 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., she shopped in the cosmetics chain Poya. Later that evening, she strolled through the Metro Walk Shopping Center on Zhongyuan Road in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Chen reminded the public that if they have been to any of the above-mentioned places during the dates and times, they should closely monitor their health. If they feel any suspected symptoms of the virus, they should wear a face mask. Additionally, if they experience fever, trouble breathing, or lose the sense of smell, they should go to their nearest community clinic to report their condition to a physician, who can assess whether they need to be tested for the coronavirus.
Below is a map of the locations that the couple recently visited. Note that they appear to be clustered around the Taoyuan General Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare.
However, the CECC has not confirmed which hospital the two work at.
Taiwan CECC to test 400 more contacts of doctor, nurse
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (Jan. 14) announced that 522 contacts of the doctor and nurse diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus have tested negative, but it is planning to test up to 400 more contacts as an extra precaution.
On Thursday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said there has been “fortune out of misfortune” because the 522 contacts of the doctor and nurse diagnosed with the coronavirus this week have all tested negative. Those included 468 contacts in the hospital and 55 in the community.
The 468 hospital contacts tested included 41 doctors, 185 nurses, 40 administrative staff members, and 202 patients. Of these, the center deemed that 77 should undergo a second round of testing, which also yielded negative results.
The 55 community contacts included 43–39 students and four teachers — from the university where the nurse attended continuing education classes. Thus far, the only person to test positive among the community contacts is the nurse herself.
To be extra cautious, the CECC had originally planned to test all 1,200 employees of the hospital. After the hospital presented a comprehensive testing plan to the command center, a meeting was held between district officials, members of the expert team, and CDC department heads to discuss the proposal.
Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the CECC’s expert advisory group, said Thursday that experts at the meeting believed that because the outbreak investigation had been very thorough and testing had been comprehensive, it would not be necessary to test all the hospital’s employees. However, Chang said that in order to put the staff at ease and address public concerns, testing would be expanded to an additional 300–400 personnel.
The rest of the staff will be asked to begin self-health monitoring. If any report symptoms, they will be tested.
Chen said that the additional testing is expected to start on Friday (Jan. 15) and will take two days. He emphasized that surveillance camera footage shows Case №838 had been wearing a mask correctly at all times while in the hospital.