Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Taipei [Taiwan] May 21, (ANI): As 516 of 900 people have tested positive for COVID in China's Wanhua district, official figures suggest that the teahouse culture in the district is responsible for the recent spike in infections.

As of today, Taiwan has reported 1,577 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since May 11, according to the Central Epidemic Control Centre.

"At least 516 of the 900 people who tested positive for the coronavirus in Wanhua district had links to one or more of its 176 hostess teahouses Venues began appearing in the area after brothels were ordered to close in 1997," the South Morning China Post (SCMP) quoted a police officer as saying.

Taipei [Taiwan] May 21, (ANI): As 516 of 900 people have tested positive for COVID in China's Wanhua district, official figures suggest that the teahouse culture in the district is responsible for the recent spike in infections.

On May 13, three women from three other teahouses, and a man who had visited one of them also tested positive, the centre said. As the numbers rose, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je ordered all teahouses to close, as reported by SCMP. "There were human-to-human contacts between the Wanhua cases and the Luzhou case," Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung said.

It was later discovered that a number of people, mostly men, from other Taiwanese cities and counties had patronised the Wanhua teahouses. "Our research showed that the virus strain tracked from the infected people came from the same family - the British variant," said Chang Shan-tsun, head of the centre's advisory specialist panel, adding that people aged between 50 and 60 were the most affected.

A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the hostess teahouses in Wanhua dated back to when then Taipei mayor Chen Shui-bian shut down all licensed brothels in 1997. "Many [brothels] went underground after the crackdown while others reopened as so-called teahouses," he said.

"Because a number of these teahouses are a front, most of the hostesses are not willing to take Covid tests for fear of being caught and fined," the officer said. Also, some of the hostesses were from Vietnam or mainland China and did not have the right papers so would not want to be identified by taking a COVID-19 test, he said.

A 70-year-old woma, who worked in Wanhua, was found dead at her home on Monday, Chen said on Thursday. The woman, who lived alone and had heart and vascular problems, showed COVID-19 symptoms but refused to go to hospital, he said.

Mayor Ko urged people who work for or have links to the teahouses or other illegal entertainment venues to take a COVID-19 test to help prevent the disease from spreading further. They would not face punishment, he said, as reported by South China Morning Post. (ANI)

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