Taipei, A woman in her 40s residing in northern Taiwan who recently traveled to Europe was confirmed Thursday as having contracted the respiratory illness COVID-19, making her the 49th case in Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said that day.
The woman visited several countries in Europe from Feb. 21 to March 8. She departed from Taiwan Feb. 21, transiting through the United Kingdom to Ireland, from where she took a flight to Belgium March 4 and then transited through Turkey March 7 before returning to Taiwan the next day, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???), who heads the CECC, said at a press conference.
After returning to Taiwan, the woman did not immediately develop symptoms, but later began experiencing headaches, fatigue and a sore throat. She sought medical attention at a hospital Tuesday and tested positive for COVID-19 two days later.
The woman is currently being quarantined in a negative-pressure isolation room, according to Chen.
The patient is likely to have contracted the disease overseas, Chen said, adding that aside from seeking medical treatment, the woman did not go outside and stayed at home after returning to Taiwan.
Her family members who live with her have not shown symptoms of the viral disease, he said.
A contact investigation will be launched to trace her movements in Ireland and Belgium and to monitor the health of people who might have had close contact with her, including her family members, passengers on the plane that flew her home, taxi drivers who provided transport services to her at the airport and people who were in the hospital she visited.
As of Thursday, Taiwan had 49 confirmed COVID-19 infections, including 26 indigenous cases and 23 imported cases, with just one death. Of the 49 confirmed cases, 20 patients have been discharged after being hospitalized for treatment, according to the CECC.
Meanwhile, a total of 361 Taiwanese nationals who had been stranded in China's Hubei Province where the COVID-19 outbreak began and returned to Taiwan Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning did not show signs of illness but will remain in quarantine, according to the CECC.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel