In response to the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China, the Executive Yuan Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) attended the command center meeting again in the afternoon on January 25, 2020 to express appreciation and instruct that all government agency staff shall carry out prevention work rigorously with thorough preparation to achieve comprehensive prevention efforts during the Lunar New Year holiday. On the other hand, the mechanism of giving a Novel Coronavirus Health Declaration Card to travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau at airports/ports had been implemented since January 24. Furthermore, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) remains attentive to travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau and maintains domestic prevention efforts.
60 more cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection were reported on January 24. As of writing, a total of 193 cases of 2019-nCoV infection have been reported, including three confirmed cases, 64 individuals removed from the follow-up list, and 126 in isolation for lab tests among which preliminary tests were negative in 46 and test results of the others are pending. The three confirmed cases are currently being treated in a negative pressure ward at the hospital. Of 46 contacts of the first confirmed cases, one individual developed fever and was hospitalized. In the other two confirmed cases, the number of close contacts identified is currently 102 and other contacts are being traced and under investigation while others remain in normal condition. The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) informs that as Case-patient #2 announced on January 24 was present at Jin Bali Grand Ballroom located in Lingya District, Kaohsiung City from 4 to 6 pm on January 22 without a face mask throughout his visit, if any individuals visited the ballroom during the aforementioned period of time, he/she is advised to conduct self-health management for 14 days since the last contact date. If symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath develop, please call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922) and put on a surgical mask and seek immediate medical attention as instructed. Moreover, please inform the physician of any history of contact to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
According to the reporting data provided by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as of January 24 a cumulative total of 1,287 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV infection have been recorded in China, including 237 severe cases and 41 deaths cumulatively. Of 31 Chinese provinces and cities (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), confirmed or suspected cases have been reported in 30 provinces and cities. The cumulative number of close contacts is 15,197, and the number of individuals being tracing is 13,967. As of now, Tibet is the only region where no confirmed or suspected case has occurred. More cases continue to occur in Chinese provinces and cities with cases in the cities in Hubei Province besides Wuhan increasing rapidly, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the novel coronavirus can sustain human-to-human transmission, indicating higher risk of infection. Thus, CECC broadened the travel notice to Hubei Province (including Wuhan City) and raised the level for Hubei Province to Level 3: Warning on January 25. The public is advised to avoid non-essential trips to the area. CECC also raised travel notice level for other Chinese provinces to Level 2: Alert; travelers planning to visit China are advised to reinforce prevention measures. A cumulative total of 31 confirmed cases have been recorded in 12 other countries. New cases have been recorded in Malaysia, Australia, Nepal and France in addition to global cases as disclosed in the press release dated January 23. 31 cases include 5 cases in Thailand, 5 in Hong Kong, 3 in Singapore, 3 in Malaysia, 3 in France, 2 in Japan, 2 in Korea, 2 in Macau, 2 in Vietnam, 2 in the United States, 1 in Nepal and 1 case in Australia.
CECC reiterates that upon receipt of report of communicable diseases, competent authorities will proceed with the investigation of the outbreak and investigate and handle each potential contact pursuant to Article 43, the Communicable Disease Control Act. Whether details about the process of a reported case are made public or not depends on the transmission means as well as characteristics of the disease. Disclosure of such details will only be made to facilitate the investigation of disease outbreak. Revealing unnecessary information for the investigation might cause public panic and thus not help implement prevention measures. As the period of time calls for alertness to comprehensive prevention, CECC takes disclosure of such information seriously, handles it with prudence and has no intention of concealment. CECC urges the public and the press to understand its intent and cooperate with the measures.
CECC reminds that the outbreak of this novel coronavirus in China is occurring during the Lunar New Year holiday and urges the healthy public to take the temperature, wash hands thoroughly with soap, refrain from touching eyes, nose and mouth with hands and avoid going to crowded public places. If symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath develop, please rest at home and stay clear of public places. If going to a doctor or attending important business is necessary, please put on a surgical mask, wash hands thoroughly with soap and appropriately dispose of respiratory secretions.
Travelers arriving in Taiwan are advised to voluntarily inform the quarantine officer at the airport/port if symptoms such as fever and cough develop. If the aforementioned suspected symptoms develop within 14 days after returning to Taiwan, please call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922) and put on a surgical mask and seek immediate medical attention as instructed. Moreover, please inform the physician of any history of travel, occupation, contact, and cluster (TOCC) to facilitate timely diagnosis and prompt case-reporting. For more information on 2019-nCoV, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw.