Surge in Imported Cases Expert: Virus Mutation |近來歐美境外移入大增 專家推測病毒變異


The number of confirmed cases in Taiwan has exceeded two hundred, with double digit increase on a daily basis. Doctors worry that the virus might have mutated to be more aggressive, and emphasize the necessity of larger-scale testing for airplane passengers as they are in an enclosed space during the entire flight.


There has been a surge of Taiwanese nationals coming back to Taiwan from Europe and the United States. 17 persons out of the 45 imported cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the past two days have the record of traveling to the United States. Some Taiwanese experts speculated the virus may have mutated in Europe and the U.S. and is more aggressive than the original virus found in Wuhan.

The virus could have mutated with a faster transmission rate. The symptoms could be worse. The goal is to increase its progeny virus as much as possible. This is the goal of all life forms. Therefore it is reasonable to think that the virus have mutated and become more contagious.

The 213th confirmed case is one of the dentistry students studying in Spain. The cluster infection has already affected 4 of the students. Coincidentally, case 213 was on the same flight as the tour group who travelled to Turkey in which 14 people were confirmed to have infected with the virus. A doctor emphasized the necessity to scale up the testing of airplane passengers, as they travel in an enclosed space for the entire duration of flights. As of now, only those who sit two rows in front and behind the case will be tested. The doctor suggested that everyone on the plane be tested, or at least those who sit 3 rows in front and behind.

When we are on an airplane, the moment of infection might not be just droplet infections. It could have been contact infections. There is no limit of distance in contact infections.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, more than 3,000 people who have returned to Taiwan or have come into contact with the confirmed cases, have sought medical treatment in the last 14 days and more than 300 people have been diagnosed with pneumonia. People questioned if some of these inbound travelers had already shown symptoms before boarding the plane back to Taiwan. The CDC stressed as long as the passengers notify the related authorities at the airport, they would not be fined. Otherwise they could be facing fines from NT$10,000 to NT$150,000.



近來有大批國人從歐美返台,而且兩天內、境外移入確診個案45人當中,就有17例有美國旅遊史,比例高達三成七。國內專家推測,歐美病毒可能已經出現變異,可能比當初武漢的病毒還要毒,傳染力更強。

台灣感染症醫學會理事長 黃立民表示:「它就是要突變成,傳得更快,然後病可能會稍微嚴重一點。它的目的,是要增加它的子代病毒,把它的病毒在這世界上的量,越來越多。這是所有生命的目的,就是這個樣子,所以這個病毒會往高傳染力強,這是合理的。」

而日前確診的案213,是先前西班牙牙醫系群聚留學生之一,該起群聚已有4人確診,不過巧合的是,案213在返台時,竟然與14人確診的土耳其旅遊團、搭乘同一班機。有醫師認為,飛機是密閉空間,飛行時間又長,現行作法只抓前後兩排座位的接觸者採檢,恐怕不夠,建議全機人員採檢,或前後三排採檢、比較保險。

台大小兒感染科醫師 李秉穎表示:「我們飛機這種地方,它發生傳染的時機,可能並不是單純的飛沫傳染,它有可能發生接觸傳染,接觸傳染,就沒有什麼特別的一個距離的限制了。」

此外,根據衛福部統計,近14天內入境、或確診個案接觸者,因呼吸道疾病就醫者超過3千人,並有300多人罹患肺炎,遭外界質疑,部分旅客在國外已發病、還搭機返國;對此疫情指揮中心強調,民眾只要在機場確實通報,就不會挨罰,但若是隱匿不報,會開罰1萬到15萬元。