Coronavirus - Taiwan 2021

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Compulsory government quarantine from now on for arrivals from Brazil.

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He was carrying a packet of amphetamines, a category 2 narcotic … urine test result revealed recent amphetamine use

Expensive hit

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Addiction is no joke.

Guy

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We don’t know addiction is involved here though.

Fall-Winter COVID-19 Prevention Program will continue to be implemented beyond February

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So I just realized that I would not get my COVID test results back in time from Cathay General Hospital if I flew out of Taiwan on Monday. Their site says that Friday test results are only available on Monday afternoon, and my flight is currently scheduled for Monday morning. Doh!

Does anyone know of another self-pay COVID testing site where the appointment website is available in English? Or may just have to change my flight to Sunday…

Have you tried asking the hospital to see whether they might be able to provide the results in time, say on Saturday or Monday morning? I’ve been to Cathay a few times and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some leeway. Maybe it’s worth a shot?

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There is a list of all the hospitals offering PCR tests on the website of the Taiwanese CDC. Just take it and call all the hospitals on there around where you are. They should actually speak English

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Four imported cases today. Three locals, one American. If I’m understanding All four had previously tested positive overseas at some time in the past, tested negative on the pre-flight test. Tested positive on arrival in Taiwan. Presumably all due to viral fragments?

I would guess so. This raises the issue of testing positive after vaccination. I wonder how they’ll deal with refusing people international travel if they test positive pre-flight as vaccinations continue to grow in some countries but not others?

EDIT: Dur, BD! Proof of vaccination you fool!

Would probably depend on how long before the test that they had been Vaccinated.

If you mean the vaccination triggers a false-positive PCR response, that should not happen (see below). If you mean that someone who has been vaccinated but they subsequently catches the virus, then they may still be capable of transmitting and so should be quarantined.

How does the vaccine affect the evaluation of a patient and diagnostic testing for possible Covid-19?

The Covid-19 vaccines will not influence the results of PCR or antigen testing for the disease. The vaccines do generate antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which are directed at the spike protein. Some available serologic assays test for this antibody; others do not. The manufacturers of the individual antibody tests should be able to provide this information, and it is often listed in the package insert.

Note that if you are evaluating someone for active or recent Covid-19 using antibody (not PCR or antigen) testing, then a test specifically evaluating IgM/IgG to the nucleocapsid protein should be used. opens in new tab. As noted above, the vaccines elicit antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, not the nucleocapsid. (Last reviewed/updated on 17 Feb 2021

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Antibody tests could be positive. But, yeah, I was wrong.

So much for a normal life.

Unfortunately that is still a ways off.

Guy

It may be that infections are reduced, it’s just too early to tell yet. However there is evidence that the vaccines help greatly with serious illness and hospitalizations. And this apples to both Pfizer and AZ vaccines. So there is light at the end. It’s a shame Europe has blocked the AZ vaccine for the elderly, it seems this was an impulsive decision.

Research led by Public Health Scotland found at four weeks after the first dose, hospital admissions were reduced by 85% and 94% for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs respectively.

Among the over 80s, there was an overall 81% reduction in the numbers admitted to hospital.

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Interesting but for discussion:

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Yeah that’s going to get the KMT some popular support.

According to polling, there’s widespread distrust in Taiwan about China’s vaccines.

We won’t be importing them. With so many other possibilities coming to the market soon (including the game-changing one-shot J&J vaccine), why should we?

Guy

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Some interesting thoughts on likely timing of potential opening up of Taiwan re covid visa restrictions

  1. While MOFA has shown willingness to reopen certain categories of visa, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is much more conservative (Student visas are handled by the MOE. Currently, only graduating students are allowed in. Language and exchange students are not allowed in). This tells you that attitudes in the government are split about reopening the borders.
  2. Importantly, the government has shown no intention to increase in any meaningful way the overall quarantine capacity. This is going to be the main bottleneck for any of the more accessible visas, in spite of the economical and political boost an influx of talented people could bring to the country.
  3. Current vaccines are not yet proven to prevent transmission to other people (and they may never prevent it altogether).
  4. Due to its stellar early success in handling the pandemic, and how much of a political boost this has been, the government will take no risk with admitting newcomers to Taiwan.
  5. The media and political climate in Taiwan is such, that should even one senior citizen die from COVID due to an early reopening of the border, it would be a major scandal.
  6. Vaccination passports are a mess at the moment, and a mess that will need to be solved administratively and politically. This is a much slower process than solving problems with science.
  7. The current 20M doses of AstraZenecca vaccines ordered by Taiwan are being delayed by production and political issues in the Swedish factory and will not be delivered by March.

Our conclusion is that Taiwan will not reopen any of the general categories of visa (tourist, sightseeing, language and exchange students) before an overwhelmingly large majority of the Taiwanese population is vaccinated. We do not see this happening before early to mid-2022. This prognostic does not take into account any potential new strain resisting vaccination.

(https://www.rooms.taipei/covid-visa-newsletter-what-s-going-to-happen-in-2021)

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