Taipei restricts bookings for quarantined hotels

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  • By Lee I-chia, Tsai Ya-hua and Jonathan Chin / Staff Journalists, with the editor

Ahead of an expected wave of people returning from overseas for the Lunar New Year holiday, the Taipei city government said yesterday that from Monday next week to January 28, only residents of Taipei will be allowed to stay in the city’s quarantine hotels.

The measure, which took effect yesterday, was adopted in response to widely reported room shortages, the Taipei Public Information Department said in a statement.

Residents of jurisdictions other than Taipei and foreigners who made their reservations by Monday are not subject to these limits, he added.

Photo: ANC

Taipei has 95 quarantine hotels with a combined capacity of 6,475 rooms, but it expects around 4,000 people to check in in two weeks, implying a 60 percent occupancy rate, he said. -he declares.

With the Lunar New Year holiday starting Feb.11, travelers must register by Jan.28 to visit loved ones after the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, the department said.

Travelers must present a photocopy of their national identity card to the concierge as proof of residence when checking in, he added.

The Kaohsiung city government followed suit later yesterday, announcing that quarantine hotels would be reserved for city residents.

In related news, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced two imported cases of COVID-19, both Taiwanese returning from the United States, and reported the first case of severe flu complications this flu season .

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) deputy director general Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the spokesperson for CECC, said one of the imported cases of COVID-19 confirmed yesterday is a Taiwanese woman from in her sixties who lives in the United States and last left Taiwan in November of last year.

She gave a negative result in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before returning to Taiwan with a family member on Sunday, Chuang said, adding that she was tested for COVID-19 at the airport after. having reported his symptoms, and the result came back. positive yesterday.

The other case is a Taiwanese woman in her twenties who lives in the United States and last left Taiwan in September, Chuang said.

She had had a runny nose and nasal congestion early last month, but tested negative for COVID-19 on December 15 and 26 and Tuesday last week, Chuang said.

The woman also provided a negative PCR test report before boarding, but began to suffer from loss of smell on Saturday and returned to Taiwan with a family member on Sunday, he said.

She tested positive in a test taken at the airport upon arrival, Chuang said.

Meanwhile, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said the weekly number of flu syndromes reported this flu season has remained relatively low, he said, adding that a only one case of serious complications from the flu was confirmed last week. , while 583 cases of serious influenza complications, including 87 deaths, were reported during the same period last year.

The only serious case reported to date is a 77-year-old woman, who lives in northern Taiwan and has not received a flu shot this season. She was confirmed to be infected with the strain of influenza A (H3N2).

Chuang said that among the two influenza A virus subtypes, the H3N2 strain more often affects the elderly, who are also at higher risk for serious complications.

Guo said a cluster of H3N2 infections were also reported at a daycare center in Kaohsiung last week and five people at the center were showing flu-like symptoms.

There are still around 153,000 doses of the government-funded influenza vaccine, so eligible people are encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as possible, Chuang said.

Additional reporting by Ko Yo-hao

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