Cluster Infection Spreads from Chiayi to Taipei 嘉義婚宴案群聚擴大 專家:避握手等接觸行為

M. Chuang
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The wedding banquet cluster infection has spread from Chiayi to Taipei, with six cases confirmed. One expert says people should not shake hands or embrace at wedding banquets due to risk of infection.

Chiayi City's Nice Prince Hotel is at the center of Taiwan's latest COVID-19 cluster. So far, six people have tested positive, including one as far away as Taipei. One expert says restaurants and banquet halls are common sites for cluster infections due to the enclosed space, people taking off their masks to eat, chatting while eating, toasting, and shaking hands. He also says you don't have to eat at the same table as an infected person to get infected.

Lee Ping-ing, Board Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “There is lots of handshaking and other forms of contact at wedding banquets. The chances of coming into contact with a contaminated hand or body (is higher), so everyone should be careful when dining at restaurants.”

The Central Epidemic Command Center says the cluster originated with a pet store employee. Twelve Taipei hospitals and clinics began administering BNT vaccines to children on the 21st. The batch of vaccines expires on the 23rd, and officials hope all the vaccines can be used up.

Tsai Ping-kun, Taipei City Deputy Mayor: “We have enough for these three days. We hope we can use up the supply. There won't be any more vaccines available (for people under 18) after March 23.”

With the imported daily case count exceeding 100 now, many are worried that the government will decide to extend the length of quarantine again. Chen Shih-chung says this isn't necessarily the case.

Chen Shih-chung, Central Epidemic Command Center Chief: “These (imported) cases are not putting any real pressure on our borders. We won't be changing the length of our quarantine just because of these numbers, but we'll keep monitoring the situation.”

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je and his wife Chen Pei-chi have both recently commented that if the government had gotten BNT vaccines sooner, not as many people would have had to die. Asked about his comments, Chen Shih-chung said hindsight is 20-20.