The Taiwan government has reportedly decided to fine a man, who was diagnosed with coronavirus, for concealing his illness. The person was fined 300,000 New Taiwan dollars which converts to $10,000. The announcement was made by the Taiwanese health authorities on Saturday, according to reports.
As of Saturday, three individuals in Taiwan have been confirmed to have the new coronavirus that is rapidly spreading through China and has also spread to many other nations. The fine was announced on Wednesday when the person in question tested positive for the new virus in a hospital located in the southern city of Kaohsiung according to local media.
The severe penalty is seen by many as a clear indication that President Tsai Ing-wen and her administration intends to enforce the quarantine rules put in place to combat the spread of the disease. The new strain of coronavirus has already killed over 50 people and infected thousands in mainland China.
The holiday season accompanying the Lunar New Year is especially critical because many Taiwanese people working in mainland China return home during this time. According to quarantine procedures, anyone who displays symptoms on an upper respiratory infection or suspects to having the disease must report it to the proper authorities. According to reports, the man who was fined did not do so while entering Taiwan.
In addition, the authorities have also reported that the man visited a Kaohsiung dance club and did not wear a mask. All the 80 people who were in close proximity to the person have been identified by authorities and are being tracked. One of the dance club employees that reported the symptoms of the new coronavirus has been quarantined and is undergoing tests.
The Taiwanese Transport ministry of Friday instructed all travel companies to cancel all planned trips to the mainland and also stop accepting any tours from the other direction as well. During the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which is very similar to the new Chinese strain of coronavirus, 70 people in Taiwan died.