The highly contagious British variant of the novel coronavirus has entered Taiwan, prompting the local government to bar all foreigners without special permits from entering the country beginning January 1.
Taiwan is the country nearest to the Philippines.
Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said Wednesday that the new mutated form of the virus was found in Case No. 792 in the island nation – a Taiwanese teen who flew in from London on Sunday, local media reported.
The passenger submitted a negative test result taken within three days before boarding the China Airlines flight, but showed fever symptoms after arriving Sunday, according to the report.
The teen’s temperature was also taken before boarding. The passenger told authorities in Taiwan he did not take fever-reducing drugs, according to local media.
The passenger tested positive Monday. According to Chen, the genome of a sample taken from the patient matched a mutation identified in Britain.
Taiwan has suspended all flights to Britain, effective January 1. New travel restrictions ban all foreigners without residence permits, with exceptions being made for foreign diplomats, foreign family members of Taiwanese citizens and other people with “special entry permits,” local media reported.
Local media previously linked foreign passport holders to the recent uptick in cases in the country, which has been hailed a Covid-19 success story for its low caseload and virus response. SOVEREIGNPH