The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said today (18) that the "Central Epidemic Command Center" announced newly-added cases of COVID-19 in the country. Among them, two were diagnosed as students from Fu Hsing Kang College of the National Defense University (NDU) who participated in the Naval Goodwill Fleet sea-faring voyage. One was a sergeant on board the Goodwill Fleet, and they are currently hospitalized for treatment.
The MND pointed out that officers and students on the vessel are being accepted into quarantine for isolation and inspection in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the "Central Epidemic Command Center." As for the remaining personnel who have been in contact, they are required to observe self-management of health and adopt isolation within the barrack compound.
As for external concerns regarding case 396 and case 397, these two cases were already found to have suspected symptoms during the voyage, and the media has questioned a cover-up scenario. The MDN explained as follows: In terms of case 396, he sought medical treatment for a headache on April 13, while the temperature taken by the medical officer was 36.6 degrees, and medication was prescribed based on the headache symptom. As for case 397, the personnel indicated that he was not feeling well, but the case did not further report his status or seek medical attention.
The MND emphasized that the Navy has performed well regarding the education of epidemic prevention, publicity, preparation, and execution of epidemic prevention work guided by the "Central Epidemic Command Center" as the Goodwill Fleet carries out its mission regardless of its prior preparation, the voyage throughout, completion of the mission, and return to the country. Throughout the mission, the fleet strictly performed various epidemic prevention measures, such as taking the daily temperature of officers and soldiers on board twice daily, wearing masks in confined spaces, regular disinfection and ventilation of the cabin twice a day, configuration of negative pressure isolation wards, and crew taking meal by lot and in batches, as well as matters of precaution for epidemic prevention during the planned visit to Palau. The Goodwill Fleet has adopted epidemic prevention measures based on the strict policies as "groups, separated batches, and separated locations" to implement epidemic prevention and self-management of health.
Regarding the current epidemic caused by Goodwill Fleet, for each of the current quarantines and epidemic investigations the Navy has followed the guidelines provided by the "Central Epidemic Command Center," and all related officers, soldiers, and students have actively cooperated with the CECC and performed their duties in accordance with the contingency plan stipulated by the MDN. As such, barrack isolation and work activities in various localities have been initiated to ensure that all joint intelligence, surveillance, sea and air reconnaissance patrols, and combat preparation tasks have not been affected, nor has combat power.