Around 400 residents of a building in Banqiao District were suddenly ordered into quarantine facilities this morning as authorities escalate their response to a cluster of cases testing positive for COVID-19 at a nearby kindergarten.
The building is one of two forming a gated community that share an outdoor entrance and exit.
The 905 residents from 209 households in the two buildings were tested for COVID-19 yesterday. Six people, all residents of building B, returned positive results.
New Taipei City government notified the 400 residents in 128 households of building B this morning that the whole building would be emptied, and that buses would arrive in the afternoon to take them to quarantine facilities where they must stay for a period of 14 days.
The 505 residents of building A are allowed to stay home and implement “independent health management.”
New Taipei City Health Department Director Chen Runqiu told CNA that building residents were notified door to door, and the Banqiao District Office has set up a forward command post on site. City buses have been modified and chartered for the purpose of transporting affected residents.
New Taipei City Mayor, Hou Youyi arrived for an onsite inspection at around 1:00 pm.
Dogs and cats were handed over to New Taipei City Animal Protection Department personnel to be taken to emergency accommodation. The pets were sprayed with disinfectant before being put into cages. The Animal Protection Department said that the spray would not harm the pets.
The first bus arrived at 4:00 pm. Residents obediently handed over their family pets, and boarded the buses.
Mayor Hou justified the response in a Facebook post this evening saying that the situation was urgent, and while he is sorry about the inconvenience caused to many residents, we have “no time to waste against the Delta invasion” and the “race against the virus,” urging people that we must unite and cooperate to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
The Mayor did not explain why moving to various quarantine facilities would provide better protection than allowing residents to spend the quarantine period in their own homes.
Feature picture: CNA.
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