Traveler Faints During Home Isolation 男子返國居檢失聯 經查倒臥住處廁所

A man surnamed Hou returned to Taiwan for home isolation but his family suddenly lost contact with him. They notified the epidemic prevention center, however, Mr. Hou, unfortunately, died after waiting for almost an hour and a half for the ambulance.

Mrs. Hou covered her face and cried bitterly. Her husband returned to Taiwan from Japan at the end of 2021 for home isolation and was set to finish his isolation in two more days. Mr. Hou, who has diabetes, unexpectedly passed out on the toilet at noon on the 12th because of physical discomfort. Mrs. Hou couldn't get in touch with him and notified the epidemic control center immediately. It took nearly an hour and a half from the notification at 12:38 p.m. for the ambulance to arrive. Mr. Hou was no longer breathing when medics arrived.

Mrs. Hou, Victim's wife: “Why couldn't the ambulance come to the scene? My husband's sister was there, watching his brother until he stopped breathing.”

Li Ya-ching, Kaohsiung City Councilor (KMT): “The ambulance did arrive at the scene at 2:06p.m, taking 88 minutes in total.”

The family members held a press conference on the 19th accompanied by a city councilor, criticizing the fact that the reporting process was too cumbersome. The report was relayed from the epidemic investigation center to the health center, the borough chief office, and then back to the epidemic investigation center. The ambulance was finally dispatched not until family members arrived at the scene after 1 p.m. to find that Mr. Hou fainted, delaying the rescue time. The Kaohsiung City Health Department explained that if an isolation case is found to be out of contact, according to the procedure, it is necessary to find out the reason first and then follow-up actions can be carried out.

Lin Meng-chiao, Deputy Director, Department of Health, Kaohsiung City: “They still have to wear protective clothing (before they go out). A full set of some protective equipment and vehicle preparation, etc. is longer than the usual average 119 ambulance call. Or the process for reporting a quarantine case
is a little more complicated.”

From the health, civil affairs, to the fire bureau, relevant government departments and bureaus have stated that they must follow procedures. There is a certain reporting process during the epidemic prevention period. It is not negligence that caused delays. However, one person's life is gone while waiting for the ambulance. The family decided to file a complaint with relevant units to clarify the facts. The city councilor also asked all departments and bureaus to strengthen mutual contact and shorten the reporting and rescue time as much as possible, to prevent similar incidents from happening again.