The head of the Central Central Epidemiological Command Center (CECC), Chen Shih-chung (陳 時 中) on Wednesday (December 16) announced that they continue an entry ban on migrant workers from Indonesia is due to increased cases of COVID-19 in that country and that the accuracy of COVID-19 tests is questioned.
As the number of Indonesian migrant workers test positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Taiwan continues to increase. The CECC on November 30 announced a temporary ban of entry for all these workers from the Southeast Asian country from December 4 to December 17.
However, as the number of confirmed cases in Indonesia increased to 6,000 in the past week and because 76 out of 132 cases imported from that country since October had given negative results prior to departure, Chen said Taiwan will maintain the ban until further notice.
He said to stop the virus on the Taiwan border and ensure public safety, an indefinite ban on Indonesian migrant workers will take effect on Friday (December 18).
He said that one of the CECC’s main concerns about the Indonesian arrivals was the accuracy of the coronavirus tests they were doing in their home country.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Indonesia to improve the accuracy of the tests, but no progress has been made so far, Chen said.
He pointed out the recent trend of positive test results in Taiwan among Indonesians who presented negative test results on arrival.
In October, two out of 11 confirmed cases from Indonesia came with negative test results.
By November, this number had risen to 42 out of 81 confirmed cases, and as of December 15, 32 out of 40 had returned negative test results.
“These test reports are becoming less and less accurate. Taiwan cannot accept this risk, ”said Chen.
He said it was not clear what was wrong with the Indonesian tests but that, “The proportion of inaccurate tests has increased.”
The CECC director said polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports have yet to be confirmed. “These tests are almost like nonexistent. Therefore, unless further progress is made in the certification process of test reports, we will continue to suspend the entry of migrant workers from Indonesia. “
Chen added that CECC will be willing to assist Indonesians in their testing process.
However, “[Các nhà chức trách Indonesia] Feel they are doing a good job. There is no consensus on this aspect, so there is still a long way to go, ”he lamented.