Taiwanese businessman who contracted the Wuhan coronavirus now faces possible jail time after hiding his symptoms from authorities.
The man, described as being in his fifties, had a fever when he was in Wuhan on January 20.
Wanting to make sure that he got back home to Taiwan, he took antipyretics to keep his temperature down before boarding a flight to Kaohsiung. The drugs worked and he was able to pass through security checks without a second glance.
In Kaohsiung, he would take the metro home. The following day, he went out to the market, visited a dermatological clinic, and spent time at the Jin Bali Grand Ballroom.
It was only on January 23 that he started to feel sick and went to the hospital. Doctors confirmed that he had been infected with the Wuhan virus.
Taiwanese news outlets report that the man actually then tried to conceal his visit to the ballroom from health authorities. It was only when a hostess who attended to him came into hospital reporting similar symptoms that he was forced to fess up.
Kaohsiung’s health department has fined the man NT$300,000 ($10,000) for flouting Taiwan’s virus prevention efforts.
The island’s justice ministry has also opened up an investigation into his case, declaring that he could be sentenced to three years in prison or fined NT$500,000 ($16,600) if his deception led to the hostess being infected with the virus.
So far, Taiwan has confirmed five cases of the Wuhan coronavirus. The threat of the further spread of the virus has caused the island to institute some strict travel bans on visitors from the mainland.
- Individuals from Hubei province have been barred from entering Taiwan.
- All other Chinese residents have been banned from entering for purposes including tourism, social and professional exchanges, and medical trips.
- Chinese students have been banned from entering for two weeks.
- All those returning from Hubei province or those who have been in contact with individuals who have contracted the novel coronavirus are required to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.