In response to the severe pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China, the Executive Yuan Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai invited the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and other relevant government agencies to thoroughly understand the current status of the outbreak and Taiwan’s existing preparedness and response measures. Vice Premier Chen instructed that as the Chinese New Year holiday was approaching and many people would be traveling during the same time, MOHW should plan to reinforce the implementation quarantine practices at airports and ports. In addition, healthcare facilities should also heighten vigilance for suspected cases, and thoroughly implement the inquiry of patients for history of travel, occupation, contact, and cluster (TOCC), as well as relevant nosocomial infection control measures. On the other hand, as the current status of the ongoing pneumonia outbreak in China is not fully transparent, Vice Premier Chen also instructed MOHW to plan a visit to China to understand the outbreak in China and conduct exchanges in order to have more comprehensive information of the outbreak.
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) pointed out that based on the information released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention as of January 5, 2020, no evidence of human-to-human transmission had been found, and no illnesses had been reported among healthcare workers. In addition, tests have ruled out influenza, avian influenza, mumps virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The source of infection is still being investigated. Taiwan CDC will continue to closely monitor the development of the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Taiwan CDC once again reminds the public that the respiratory disease (e.g. influenza and pneumonia) season is upon us, travelers planning to visit Wuhan or other neighboring areas in China recently and Taiwanese business people in China to wash hands thoroughly with soap, wear a face mask and seek medical attention when coughing, avoid contact with wild animals and poultry, and avoid visiting crowded public places such as live poultry markets and hospitals. If fever or influenza-like illness symptoms develop upon arriving in Taiwan, please voluntarily notify the airline crew and the quarantine officer at the quarantine station in the airport/port. If the aforementioned symptoms develop after returning to Taiwan, please put on a surgical mask and seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, please inform the physician of any history of travel, occupation, contact, and cluster (TOCC) to facilitate timely diagnosis, prompt case-reporting, and comprehensive treatment. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).