According to a statement released by the island’s health ministry on Tuesday, a woman in her 30s was infected after having contact with a foreign pilot, who also tested positive for the virus, between December 8 and 12.
Taiwan has been coronavirus free since April 12, only recording imported cases. Passengers arriving on the island must go into quarantine and those who test positive are isolated and given treatment. Three such imported cases were also recorded Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases on Taiwan since the pandemic began to 770.
Taiwanese authorities began screening passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, on December 31, 2019 — back when the virus was mostly the subject of rumors and limited reporting.
Taiwan confirmed its first reported case on January 21, after which it banned Wuhan residents from traveling to the island. All passengers arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao were required to undergo screening.
All this happened before Wuhan itself went into lockdown on January 23. By March, Taiwan had banned all foreign nationals from entering the island, apart from diplomats, residents and those with special entry visas.
At the same time, track and trace programs and widespread testing enabled Taiwanese authorities to effectively control the local epidemic and treat those who were infected.
On Monday, a top Taiwanese health official said it would not consider banning flights from the UK as a new strain was detected because of sufficient preventative measures already in place, according to state media.
The man, a migrant worker from the Philippines, was quarantining in a hotel in Kaohsiung City when he briefly stepped out of his room into the hallway. He was caught on CCTV and reported to the Department of Health, which slapped him with the fine.
Around 400 people have tested positive so far in connection to the new outbreak, and the Thai capital on Tuesday introduced new social distancing measures and urged people to refrain from large gatherings to celebrate the New Year.
Similar numbers of infections are unlikely in Taiwan, however, as the island’s geographic isolation makes controlling and tracking infections easier than in many other parts of Asia.
Reporting contributed by CNN’s Beijing bureau, Paula Hancocks and Joshua Berlinger.
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