Number of students on COVID prevention leave is expected to rise after the authority found a few breakthrough infections.
Presenter: Taoyuan City has also tightened its disease prevention and control measures after multiple breakthrough infections were reported. Over 1,000 people have been screened in two days, including the students of a local vocational school. The Central Epidemic Command Center sent out 1.1 million text messages to warn people who might have visited the same locations as the infected pilots and their family members.
Three EVA Air pilots had breakthrough infections and one pilot gave it to his son. His son goes to the Affiliated Tao-Yuan Agricultural and Industrial Senior High School of National Taipei University of Technology and all classes at the school will be suspended for 14 days. All other schools within Taoyuan City will operate as usual. However, Taoyuan authorities do expect some local students and parents asking for epidemic prevention leave in light of possible further infections. After some calculation, the Ministry of Education said less than one-thousandth of the students asked for leaves since school started last week on September 1, which is very little in comparison to the other five special municipalities in Taiwan.
Lin Ming-yu, Director, Dept. of Education, Taoyuan:”According to my understanding, very few students in Taoyuan are asking for epidemic prevention leaves. Our numbers are way below Taipei City. Close to five out of every one thousand students asked for epidemic prevention leaves in Taipei City.”
In the Zhongli District of Taoyuan, more than 100 residents lined up before 9am for PCR tests at the testing station set up in the Zhongzheng Park. Some chose to go to the hospital for tests. The central government has already sent 1.1 million text messages to warn people who might have come into contact with or visited the same locations as the COVID-19-infected EVA Air pilots and their family members. The government also encouraged them to take PCR tests to be safe. During the weekend, 1,076 residents showed up at hospitals and stations. The residents who got the message showed their worries.
Taoyuan residents:”(You came here for the test after receiving the text message). Yes. (Were you nervous when you saw the text?) Of course, and it is annoying. My company told me to stop going into the office. I can't go to work, we have to stay home for a week.”
Senior high school student:”My throat hurts so I told my mom that I should come for a test. (Can you return to school after you get your test?) I don't think so. I think I have to wait for the results to come out, which takes two days.”
Parent of a senior high school student:”These mass texts create some kind of anxiety, you know? I saw quite a few people this morning lining up to take the PCR tests even though they are not exhibiting any symptoms.”
In response to the recent EVA Air pilot cases, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan said the city will tighten its disease prevention and control by implementing three new measures, including gathering all who have come in contact with the COVID-positive cases at a single location, PCR-testing all airline staff and school staff and students, and sending out mass texts to the community to share COVID footprints. Cheng said Taoyuan residents need not worry too much about COVID footprints overlaps since not all overlaps are considered as close contacts. The mass text messages are just friendly reminders for precaution and self-monitor. The government will provide free tests to residents with suspicious symptoms.