More than 3,500 people in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, have been quarantined and are being monitored by the island’s health authorities. Reportedly, this follows them coming into contact with infected crew of budget carrier Tigerair Taiwan.
A further 980 people are being monitored after an infection cluster was discovered at a major hospital in Taoyuan.
The outbreak has been traced to a 30-year-old male flight attendant with Tigerair Taiwan who caught the highly contagious disease in Thailand and was confirmed to be infected on 29 March; however, by then he had already infected fellow cabin crew during a flight to Okinawa, a prefecture in southern Japan.
According to public broadcaster NHK, due to the outbreak more than 170 people have cancelled trips to Okinawa – a popular holiday destination for Taiwanese – ahead of the spring holiday season. Japan's Health Ministry is urging the public to get vaccinated ahead of the country's Golden Week travel peak next week.