On February 29, 2020, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported five new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Four of five cases are the contacts of Case #34 (index case) in a hospital in northern Taiwan. One of the patients is a hospital custodian (Case #35), and the other three patients (Cases #36, #37 and #38) are healthcare workers.
Case #35 had contact with Case #34 while working at the emergency department. Cases #36, #37 and #38 were healthcare staff who took care of Case #34 before the index patient tested positive for COVID-19. The four patients began to develop symptoms, including coughing, a runny nose and fever, from February 18 to 25. After they were identified as contacts of Case #34, they tested for COVID-19. Their test results came back positive on February 29. Their infections suggested a cluster, and the CECC has reinforced its active surveillance on the hospital.
Case #39 is a female in her 60s residing in northern Taiwan. She traveled to Dubai and Egypt with friends and family members from January 29 to February 21. There were 36 people in the same travel group including Case #39. She developed a sore throat and cough while traveling in Egypt on February 20. After returning to Taiwan, Case #39 went to a clinic on February 21. Her cough got worse on February 26, and she also had symptoms such as chest tightness, abdominal pain and vomiting the same day. She sought medical attention and tested for COVID-19 on February 28. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 today.