Virus Outbreak: US-based couple under probe over health report

CASE NOS. 384 and 393: The couple, who have lived in the US for decades, allegedly showed symptoms of COVID-19 infection before boarding flights to Taiwan

Taipei Times
Date: Apr 18, 2020
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter

Taoyuan prosecutors are investigating whether a US-based Taiwanese couple who have tested positive for COVID-19 had given false information about their health before boarding flights to Taiwan, endangering the flight crews and fellow passengers.

The couple took separate flights from New York to Taiwan, with the husband, who is in his 70s, arriving on Friday last week, and the wife, who is in her 60s, the following day. The two tested positive for the virus, with the man becoming the nation’s 384th case and the woman its 393rd case. They are receiving treatment in an isolation ward.

The Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday ordered Taoyuan prosecutors to investigate the couple for potential breaches of Article 13 of the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Recovery (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例), which states: “Individuals suffering from or suspected of suffering from severe pneumonia with novel pathogens [who] fail to abide by the instructions of competent health authorities of any level and thus are at risk of infecting others shall be sentenced to imprisonment of not more than two years or criminal detention, and may in addition thereto, be fined no less than NT$200,000 [US$6,644] and no more than NT$2 million.

“Preliminary reports indicate that while in the US, the couple already exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, but they still flew to Taiwan. Our office has initiated an investigation, which is headed by our chief prosecutor,” Taoyuan prosecutor Lin Hsiu-min (林秀敏) said, adding that dozens of people on the two flights are in quarantine after the couple tested positive.    [FULL  STORY]

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