《TAIPEI TIMES》 Vigilance urged as 21 new cases found
Workers spray disinfectant outside Longshan Temple in Taipei’s Wanhua District yesterday. Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter
The Central Epidemic Command Center （CECC） yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung （陳時中）, who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined.
The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection.
The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster of five cases — four employees and a frequent customer — linked to the Galaxy Baccarat （銀河百家樂） gambling house on Zhongzheng N Road in Yilan County’s Luodong Township （羅東）.
One more employee and two family members of two previously infected employees have not shown any symptoms, but tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the cluster of infections to eight people, Chen said.
One of them is an elementary-school student, so his classes have been suspended and his classmates ordered to isolate at home, he said.
On Tuesday, the CECC reported that case No. 1,203, a former Lions Club president in New Taipei City, attended banquets while he was contagious.
Ten new confirmed cases — five women and five men aged 50 to 80 — are linked to the man, including his wife and nine close contacts of the club, so the cluster has expanded to 11 people, Chen said.
Among the cases with unknown infection sources, case No. 1,217 is a woman in her 50s who on May 2 reported a fever, coughing and shortness of breath, and sought treatment at a clinic five times from Tuesday last week to Monday, Chen said.
The woman went to a hospital on Tuesday with difficulty breathing, abdominal pain and muscle soreness, he said.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia and tested for COVID-19, he said, adding that the result came back positive.
Fourteen close contacts have been ordered to isolate at home, he said.
Case No. 1,220 — a woman in her 60s who works at Hongda Tea House （鴻達茶藝館） on Sanshui Street in Taipei’s Wanhua District （萬華） — on Thursday last week reported symptoms of fatigue, fever and a sore throat, and sought treatment at a clinic on Friday and Saturday last week, Chen said.
The woman sought treatment at a hospital on Tuesday as the symptoms were not relieved, and she was diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19, with 30 close contacts placed in home isolation, he said.
Case No. 1,221 — a woman in her 50s who works at Fengxiang Tea House （楓香清茶館） on Siyuan Road Sec 2 in Wanhua on Monday reported an itchy throat, coughing and chills, and was tested at a hospital on Tuesday, he said.
The test came back positive and 12 close contacts have been placed in home isolation, he said.
Local health departments are conducting contact tracing on the confirmed cases to identify other close contacts and the locations they visited, Chen said.
Locations that the confirmed cases in the Galaxy Baccarat cluster visited include the Three Mom Stinky Hot Pot’s Luodong Jhongshan Branch （三媽臭臭鍋羅東中山店） on Thursday evening last week; Veteran Cafeteria （老將自助餐） in Yilan County’s Jiaosi Township （礁溪） at noon on Thursday last week; and the Ba Fang Yue Hot Pot’s Luodong Branch （八方悅鍋物羅東店） in Yilan’s Tungshan Township （冬山） on Friday evening last week, Chen said.
They also visited Jiu Qian Dai Seafood Buffet Restaurant （久千代海鮮百匯餐廳） in Yilan City and a Pxmart branch in Yilan County on Monday evening, he said.
A China Airlines （華航） flight attendant who worked with case No. 1,187 — a pilot — on a flight to Vietnam on Wednesday last week also tested positive, Chen said.
The CECC also reported four imported cases — three migrant workers from the Philippines and a Taiwanese who returned from India.