Illegal Foreign Caregiver as Taiwan's 32nd COVID-19 Case
Taiwan's 32nd COVID-19 case is an illegal foreign caretaker. Prior to being diagnosed, the caretaker had gone to a hospital to take care of patients, and had also met up with friends. As illegal workers are not listed and thus hard to manage, experts worry that this case may be the beginning of community transmission.
Taiwan recently confirmed its 32nd case of coronavirus disease 2019. The patient is the foreign caregiver of the 27th case, an elderly man in his 80s, and was working in Taiwan illegally. Illegal foreign caregivers are a common sight in hospitals, and often end up working in Taiwan via the referral of people from the same village. They charge less than other caregivers, so households are willing to employ them. However, this also means that hospitals cannot adequately supervise them. These caregivers have also not received disease prevention training. Experts say this may be a hole in the disease prevention net.
During normal times, there is no one to oversee them, so during an epidemic situation, this becomes a risk. The government needs to do a better job of overseeing these illegal foreign workers in the future.
A Central Epidemic Command Center investigation showed this caregiver, who is in her 30s, had previously gone to another hospital to take care of a patient there. There are also concerns that the caregiver had taken part in social activities. Her contact history is still under investigation, but this could prove to be a case of community transmission.
The first point is that she is illegal, so she was unwilling to see a doctor if she came down with anything. Second, she came into contact with many foreign workers perhaps from her hometown, perhaps they always met up on Saturdays and Sundays. She is illegal and took on odd jobs, which means that she came into contact with many patients and increased her chances of getting infected at a hospital. This is more worrisome.
There are rumors circulating online that this caregiver had shared her experience from an isolation ward via Facebook Live and posted pictures of her medications after being diagnosed, thereby identifying the hospital she was at. New Taipei City's Department of Health has requested the caregiver to remove the posts. If she fails to do so, she will be fined in accordance with the Communicable Disease Control Act.
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