TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A record 252 people are currently undergoing quarantine in Taipei as Taiwan continues to deal with a recent surge in local coronavirus infections linked to China Airlines.
Since an Indonesian cargo pilot for the carrier tested positive for COVID-19 on April 21 after flying to Australia, the domestic outbreak has expanded to 24 individuals. These include 10 China Airlines pilots, four employees of the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport Hotel, and 10 family members.
After the Central Epidemic Command Center confirmed Sunday (May 2) that two of the domestic cases had taken public transportation and visited restaurants in Taipei before their diagnosis, Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) assured the public in a Facebook post that sanitation work has been carried out in at-risk areas.
Describing the domestic cluster as Taiwan's "biggest challenge" since the pandemic began, Ko urged those who are subject to home isolation to comply with government regulations. He also stressed the importance of the citizens keeping their masks on to prevent a potential community spread.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday (May 3), Ko announced that the city will not upgrade its epidemic prevention level yet. However, this could change, depending on how the situation develops, he explained.
Ko pointed out that the Taipei City Government will follow a three-tiered emergency response plan in the event of a major outbreak.
The city government will place restrictions on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people if a single domestic case is reported with an unknown source. It will close event venues if more than 10 cases with unknown sources are reported in a day, and remote-learning and working will be initiated if 1,400 domestic cases are reported during a two-week period.
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