New Taipei bans indoor dining as cluster cases increase
The New Taipei City government has banned all on-site dining from today following confirmation that coronavirus cluster cases in the Banqiao District are of the Delta variant. The ban will remain in effect for one week.
According to New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, the ban applies to all dining and drinking service providers in the city's restaurants, food courts, supermarkets, traditional markets and night markets.
The city has also closed all of its sports centres, sports venues, swimming pools and cultural venues, such as libraries for the same one week period as part of measures to prevent any further spread of the Delta variant.
Taipei Ko Wen-je is not banning on-site dining for now, but he is calling on residents to make use of food takeaway or deliveries more often and to avoid on-site dining and gatherings for the time being.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says seven new coronavirus cases related to apreschool cluster in New Taipei's Banqiao District arebeing reported, bringing the total number of cases in the cluster to 23.
Genome sequencing shows that 10 of those cases were caused by the Delta variant of the disease.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says genome sequence in all of those cases is not an exact match with those of the EVA Airways pilot cases, meaning that they don't share the same infection source.
The results of genome sequencing tests on the other 13 cases linked to the pre-school are still pending.
The father of one of the students who lives in a Banqiao apartment complex is the only case that has so far been classified as imported.
He's an Egyptian national, who travelled to Egypt in June and returned to Taiwan on 4 August.
He tested negative for the coronavirus while in quarantine, but tested positive for the disease on Wednesday of this week, after his wife and child had also tested positive.
Health officials say the high CT level of his test indicates he was infected a while ago.
A total of 400 residents who live in the same building have now been quarantined, while 505 people who live in another building in the same complex have been instructed to follow self-health management protocols.
All 905 residents in the complex have been tested, and 343 of those tests have come back negative.
In addition to the seven new cases linked to the cluster infection, the CECC is also reporting two other new cases, one of which has been listed as domestic infection while the other is a British national, who recently travelled to Taiwan and tested positive during quarantine.
Those cases bring the total number here in Taiwan since the pandemic began to 16,056.
No new deaths are being reported, and the death toll remains at 837.
On Tuesday, New Taipei confirmed that a total of 4,327 school children were affected by suspension of classes in Banqiao and Zhongho districts.
Ho said two other kindergartens, and one elementary school were shut down for 3 days as a precaution and another elementary school in Zhonghe was closed for 3 days, while the class of a confirmed coronavirus case will be suspended for 2 weeks, with 2,075 students affected.