Visits to restricted hospitals and care facilities in northern Taiwan

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Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) Visits to inpatients and residents of long-term care facilities in Keelung, Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan will be limited, starting today, due to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center said. (CECC) said on Sunday.

Such visits to Taiwan’s four northern cities will in principle not be allowed unless visitors obtain permission from the facilities, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said during the briefing. CECC press that day.

Those who can visit inpatients in a hospital will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test, which can be either an antigen test done with a home test kit or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. , carried out within three days before the visit, according to the CECC.

The government will pay for the test if a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Chen said. Otherwise, visitors must pay for the test themselves.

If a visitor has been previously confirmed to have had the disease, testing will not be required if the individual is released from COVID-19-related isolation and the visit is made within three months of the visit. onset of symptoms, Chen said.

A patient and caregiver who needs to be admitted to a hospital for an elective procedure must take a government-paid COVID-19 test within three days of admission, unless they have already had COVID-19 and have recovered within the past three months. , he said.

The same rules apply to those admitted to a hospital for emergencies, except that a PCR test will be taken when the patient and caregiver arrive at the hospital, Chen said.

Meanwhile, a new resident of a care facility will now be required to present a self-paid negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of moving in, regardless of their vaccination status, according to Chen.

The minister also urged medical workers, especially those in Taoyuan where the majority of this year’s 25 locally transmitted cases have been identified, as well as healthcare facility workers and residents to get vaccinated.

The CECC’s announcement of detailed rules on visits to hospital patients and care home residents follows similar restrictions introduced on Friday by local governments in the four cities.

Other local authorities that have introduced such restrictions include Yilan County, Hualien County, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Chiayi County and Kaohsiung.

(By Chen Chie-ling, Yu Hsiao-han and Kay Liu)

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