Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, 14-day home quarantine requirement for inbound travelers in Taiwan has been implemented since March 19, 2020. Although Taiwan’s government (Read more: Why can’t Coronavirus survive in Taiwan?) has been praised for its highly effective COVID-19 response, there are still debates of general testing for COVID-19 upon arrival or not since then.

On July 6, 2020, several public health experts appealed to government to give all incoming passengers the option of testing for COVID-19 instead of just the current 14-day mandatory quarantine. Until now, Taiwan hasn’t tested all incoming passengers unless they had symptoms, but quarantined for 14 days is required for all people arriving from overseas. Only suspected case will be tested after an evaluation by health authorities at the border.

What happened in Taiwan recently?

Since a lot of Taiwanese people are concerning over a potential undetected community cluster. Voices have also begun to surge from communities calling for general virus testing for all individuals entering the island country.

Changhua County Public Health Bureau teamed with National Taiwan University’s College of Public Health, launched the project on June 11 to test 10,000 people from five high-risk groups for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Without official authorization, The Changhua County Public Health Bureau is under investigation for conducting proactive screenings for COVID-19 after an asymptomatic teenager tested positive while in home isolation.

Is general coronavirus testing for all incoming travelers necessary or not?

Source by https://www.businesstoday.com.tw

In Taiwan, there are about 250,000 of arrivals since January this year. Let’s assume that the prevalence rate of COVID-19 is 0.2%, there will be 500 people infected. If 250,000 visitors are all tested upon their arrival, with the sensitivity of the test is 90% and the Specificity is 95%, the result will be:

In medical diagnosis, test sensitivity is the ability of a test to correctly identify those with the disease (true positive rate), whereas test specificity is the ability of the test to correctly identify those without the disease (true negative rate).

Infected (should be tested positive)Not infected (should be tested negative)Total
450 (test positive)
12475 (test positive)12,925
50 (test negative)237025 (test negative)237,075

Hypothesis 1 Mandatory Test Without 14-day Home Quarantine

Without 14-day home quarantine, 50 infected people but tested negative will be released in the society and lead to local transmission.

Hypothesis 2 Mandatory Test With 14-day Home Quarantine

Those have been tested negative will have their 14-day home quarantine; 12,475 of person that are actually healthy but tested positive will have to be put in negative pressure isolation room in hospital. Which is a big waste of medical resources, not to mention that hospital is actually high-risk place.

General Mandatory Test for coronavirus in other country – Germany

Since July, 2020, anyone of any nationality arriving in Germany from a so-called risk area. All will have to be tested for coronavirus or show a recent negative test result. These tests can be carried out in all major airports in Germany paid by the states. (Read more: Why Germany May End Free Coronavirus Testing For Travelers)

For being undergoing two weeks, Reuters in August reported that Germany is planning on adjusting its current quarantine and testing policy, per Germany’s Health Minister:

German Health Minister Jens Spahn
Source by https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany/germany-wants-to-scrap-free-corona-tests-for-all-travellers-idUSKBN25M118

  • The amount of testing being done is causing staff and equipment shortages, as well as causing capacity issues at laboratories
  • Some have suggested that the tests aren’t effective, as people test negative upon arrival, but then test positive several days later
  • The new concept is that Germany could require all returning travelers to go into a five-day quarantine; passengers would still get a test, and if there’s a negative test result, the travelers wouldn’t have to complete the rest of the 14-day quarantine
  • Pricing hasn’t yet been decided, but as part of this it’s possible that testing will no longer be free

Overall, we all hope that the pandemic could leave soon, so everyone can visit Taiwan and enjoy their Taiwan tour!

最後修改日期: 11 月 3, 2022