Taipei: An Australian man who arrived in Taiwan on Feb. 23 from the United Kingdom before leaving on an EVA Airways flight on March 2 is believed to be the same person Australia confirmed this week as a case of the COVID 19 coronavirus, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.
The man, a musician who performed in the National Concert Hall in Taipei on the evening of Feb. 28 and the afternoon of March 1, was confirmed by the Australian authorities as a new coronavirus case after he disembarked from EVA Air's BR315 flight that departed from Taipei on March 2, the domestic airline said, citing a notice issued by the Australian health authorities.
The CECC said it has been investigating the 58 year old man, who departed from London Feb. 22 and entered Taiwan the next day after transiting through Bangkok.
He sought medical attention at a clinic on Feb. 27 after developing a cough and a runny nose before leaving Taiwan Monday on the EVA Airways flight, according to the CECC.
The man reached Brisbane on Tuesday where he took Virgin Australia VA1394 to Adelaide that same day.
The CECC said it is possible the man became infected with the virus before arriving in Taiwan because he already had a cough prior to his arrival, the CECC said, citing its own investigation.
He took part in a rehearsal at the National Concert Hall before performing there on Feb. 28 and March 1. A total of 10 journalists also interviewed him.
The CECC is working to identify people who might have come into contact with him during his stay in Taiwan.
The concert hall will be closed for disinfection on Friday.
According to EVA Air, its BR315 flight was scheduled to return to Taiwan Thursday night, but was canceled due to the news, with passengers forced to take other flights by other airlines.
The plane that carried the passenger with the coronavirus was given additional deep cleaning and disinfection, the airline said.
The aircraft is scheduled to fly back to Taiwan on Friday carrying only crew members, a source familiar with the matter said.
Health Minister Chen Shih chung (???), who heads the CECC, said that he hoped EVA Air crew members can get information and data of the confirmed patient from the Australian authorities, including where he was seated in the cabin of the flight.
All crew members will be subject to self health management and those who have come into contact with the patient will have to undergo mandatory quarantine or isolation
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel