《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taoyuan hospital reopens one month after COVID-19 cluster infections
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, front second left, Premier Su Tseng-chang, front third left, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, front third right, and other officials gesture yesterday outside Taoyuan General Hospital, which has been partially reopened. Photo: Chou Min-hung, Taipei Times
/ Staff writer, with CNA
Taoyuan General Hospital, the site of a recent cluster of 21 COVID-19 infections, partially reopened yesterday, more than a month after the cluster’s first case was confirmed.
“We were attacked by the virus, but we managed to contain it,” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung （陳時中） said during a reopening ceremony at the hospital. “The central and local governments achieved this together.”
The infections of a doctor at the hospital, who treated a COVID-19 patient, and a nurse — the doctor’s partner — were confirmed on Jan. 12, followed by 19 more cases, including medical staff, patients, patients’ family members and a caregiver.
The infections linked to the hospital led to the mass evacuation of patients, which began on Jan. 19, followed by the disinfection of the facility.
One of the cases, the mother-in-law of an infected nurse at the hospital, died on Jan. 29 — Taiwan’s ninth COVID-19-related death since the nation reported its first case on Jan. 21 last year.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo （羅一鈞） said that the hospital would run at reduced capacity for outpatient and inpatient services, but accept emergency admissions.
A review would be carried out to assess whether the hospital can increase capacity after March 1, he added.
The hospital’s COVID-19 ward is to be upgraded to an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients in serious condition, he said.
Hospital superintendent Hsu Yung-nien （徐永年） would for now decide whether the hospital accepts COVID-19 patients, Chen said.
Last year, the hospital in received COVID-19 cases almost every day, due to its proximity to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Hsu said.
Taoyuan General Hospital staff take selfies with Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung at the hospital’s reopening event yesterday. Photo: CNA