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Taiwan has recorded its first locally transmitted Covid-19 case since 12 April, after the Taiwanese friend of a pilot from New Zealand who did not correctly report all his contacts and movements tested positive.
Taiwan has kept the pandemic well under control thanks to early and effective prevention methods and widespread mask wearing, with all new cases for more than the last 250 days being among travellers arriving on the island.
But Taiwan’s government has watched nervously as imported cases rise, albeit at a far lower rate than in many other places, and has raised the alert level as the winter begins.
The health minister, Chen Shih-chung, told reporters the new locally transmitted case was a woman in her 30s who had close contact with the New Zealand pilot, who was himself confirmed to have been infected on Sunday having flown flights to the US.
Chen said the New Zealand national had not correctly reported all his contacts and list of places he had been, and may be in breach of Taiwan’s communicable diseases law.
The government has published a list of places he went in and around Taipei and told people who may have been there to monitor their health. It is testing 167 people who have had direct contact with the new locally transmitted case.
The Taiwanese tech firm Quanta Storage said the woman was an employee at a subsidiary, and that contacts who had been tested for the virus so far had come back negative.
Taiwan has reported a total of 771 cases – mostly imported – and seven deaths. About 130 people remain in hospital for treatment.
Separately, the government said it would halve the number of flights to Britain, to one a week, after a highly infectious new coronavirus strain was found in the country.
Those arriving in Taiwan from the UK, or who have been in Britain within the last 14 days, will also have to quarantine for 14 days in centralised quarantine facilities.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Taiwan confirms pilot’s friend to be first local Covid case since April | Taiwan