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Taiwan adds 7-day self-health management after 14-day quarantine to suspected COVID-19 cases

Everyone who completes mandatory 14-day home quarantine must now undergo an additional seven days of self-health management, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday, amid increasing concern over asymptomatic cases.

The new measure went into immediate effect Sunday and applies to everyone who completes 14-day home quarantine, compulsory for those entering Taiwan on or after March 19, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) chief Chou Jih-haw said.

People undergoing the seven-day self-health management are required to minimize time spent in public, wear a surgical mask and practice common hygiene to avoid infecting others. They must also test their body temperature twice daily and report any suspected symptoms to the 1922 epidemic monitoring hotline.

The move was implemented because of Taiwan's 356th case, an imported case where a Taiwanese man in his 60s later confirmed infected with the coronavirus, showed no symptoms after returning from the United States where he worked from Feb. 23 to March 17. The man later infected his wife, said Chuang Jen-hsiang, CDC deputy-director and CECC spokesman.

"It was because the wife later showed symptoms and was tested that we were able to trace the source of infection to her husband," Chuang said.

The wife, Taiwan's 343rd case, a woman in her 60s with no recent overseas travel history, was confirmed as infected with the coronavirus after showing symptoms that included body aches, coughing, and a runny nose on March 20, CECC records showed.

The husband, Taiwan's 356th case, underwent 14-day self-health management when he returned to Taiwan on March 17, but despite experiencing light diarrhea had no other major symptoms and so thought he did not have the virus, Chuang said.

Taiwan recorded eight new infections, bringing the total to 363 since the coronavirus emerged in China at the end of last year, according to CECC statistics. (By CNA)

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