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May 20, 2021

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Taiwan Covid increase linked to relaxed quarantine for airline pilots

By Paul Dennis

20 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 164,981,000 with more than 3,419,000 deaths and 113,810,000 recoveries reported.

The US continues to hold the lead as the most heavily affected country worldwide, followed by India and Brazil.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nursing home residents who had been vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna saw a decrease in the spread of the virus in nursing homes in the US.

Researchers said that vaccinations appeared to protect nursing home residents who did not get immunized.

Taiwan and Singapore have seen a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases.

Taiwan reported approximately 1,300 new cases in the last week, and Singapore reported approximately 270 new cases in the last week.

While the number of cases does not seem high compared to the figures of other countries they represent a significant increase for Taiwan and Singapore.

Of the unlinked cases, some have tested positive for the B.1.617 strain, first detected in India.

To limit the spread of the virus Singapore has re-instated lockdown measures banning all dine-in at food and beverage establishments, as well as limiting public social gatherings to two people.

Singapore has now also announced that it would separate flights and passengers from high-risk countries and regions from those arriving from lower-risk places.

The increase in Taiwan is tied to a decrease in testing and more relaxed quarantine measures for unvaccinated pilots.

The initial quarantine measure for pilots was 14 days, then it was reduced to five days and subsequently to three days.

Shortly after an outbreak of the UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, it was traced to a Novotel where China Airlines pilots had been staying.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

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