Taiwan prolongs intensified respiratory disease screening for Mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao travellers, possibly till Lunar New Year

Hsueh Jui-yuan

2nd December 2023 – (Taipei) From 26th November 2023, Taiwan has amplified its surveillance efforts for respiratory diseases, specifically targeting travellers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao. The intensified screening measures, implemented at four major Taiwanese airports, may extend till the Lunar New Year, according to the Minister of Health and Welfare, Mr. Hsueh Jui-yuan.

Mr. Hsueh’s statement came during his inspection visit to the Taoyuan Airport on Saturday, 2nd December. As per Mr. Hsueh, the Lunar New Year, which traditionally sees a surge in the number of travellers from Mainland China, could necessitate the extension of these measures.

Mr. Hsueh appealed to travellers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao to cooperate with these measures. He stated that if any of them show symptoms of flu, such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or nasal congestion upon arrival, they should immediately contact the airport quarantine personnel. It’s also suggested that symptomatic travellers undergo a nasopharyngeal specimen collection and seek medical attention promptly.

Furthermore, when asked if citizens returning from Mainland China should wear masks and use alcohol sprays, Mr. Hsueh expressed that such precautions should be taken during their stay in Mainland China itself. He stressed that these measures would be more effective if implemented at the source, rather than waiting until boarding the aircraft.

In addition to his remarks, Mr. Hsueh provided an update on the testing results. From Sunday to Thursday, 30th November, a total of 52 travellers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau were screened. Out of these, 34 individuals were found to be infected, with 60% diagnosed with the flu virus and 23.5% with the novel coronavirus. However, no cases of pneumonia of unknown origin, a condition that has been under close watch, were detected.