Writing by NCKU News Center. Image credit to Tainan City Government and NCKU Hospital.
NCKU Hospital strives to keep the community safe
Tainan City’s Public Health Bureau implemented an expansive three-day COVID-19 screening in response to a family cluster infection that was detected in the city’s Annan District. To tackle this, National Cheng Kung University’s (NCKU) medical team set up screening stations in the Annan Fruit and Vegetable Market, located in the neighborhood where the cases had been confirmed. Nearly 4,000 people were screened over a period of three days, and all results came back negative.
Tainan Mayor Wei-Che Huang commended NCKU’s medical team, the city’s Public Health Bureau, the Police Department, and the fruit and vegetable market personnel for their dedication in the fight against the pandemic as well as their efforts to halt the spread of the virus. NCKU’s medical team was also praised by Mayor Huang for their outstanding efficiency and productivity in conducting screenings. He affirmed their invaluable role in keeping the community safe, highlighting their screening of over 1,000 people per day to a total of nearly 4,000 people screened across the three days.
Mayor Huang made special mention of the city’s major hospitals for their timely rollout of internal protocols and their thoroughness in helping to clear the imminent risks faced by the people, the community, and the city. The Mayor expressed his gratitude to all the medical personnel at the hospitals and to his colleagues at the Public Health Bureau for their tireless efforts in promptly processing and releasing the screening results.
Setting up screening stations at the Annan Fruit and Vegetable Market is the most efficient way to prevent an outbreak in terms of the Annan family cluster infection
NCKU Hospital conducted screenings on a large scale, setting up six screening stations at the Annan Fruit and Vegetable Market. NCKU Hospital president Dr. Meng-Ru Shen was at the helm, leading a team of nearly 40 people comprising specialist physicians, nurses, administrators, and engineers in carrying out the screenings. Municipal police officers from the Third Precinct worked together with the managers of the venue to direct traffic and manage queues. From 28th to 30th June, a total of 4,000 people were screened using PCR tests, and all tests came back negative.
NCKU Hospital’s involvement in Tainan City’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 was three-pronged. First, screening stations were set up at the Annan Fruit and Vegetable Market with a 20-person medical team made up of specialist physicians, nurse practitioners, and administrative and IT personnel. Second, samples were collected from people’s nasal cavities and examined using PCR tests. All samples collected were sent directly to NCKU Hospital and tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. Third, in the event of a confirmed case, the NCKU medical team would have followed the tracking protocols of the Tainan City Public Health Bureau and provided the appropriate treatment and care for the affected person.
Dr. Shen pointed out that setting up screening stations at the Annan Fruit and Vegetable Market is the most efficient way to prevent an outbreak in terms of the Annan family cluster infection. Dr. Shen also said and that working with the city to secure the health and safety of the city’s residents was the hospital’s duty and NCKU’s University Social Responsibility. “For the University, taking a scientific approach to reining in the pandemic is our duty,” Shen affirmed, “and we must do our utmost.”
Medical personnel carry out their duty clad from head to toe in PPE and airtight gear
Clad from head to toe in PPE and airtight gear, medical personnel remained dutifully at their posts in the screening stations, their clothes drenched with the day’s worth of sweat. But be it the continuous screening or easing worries, everyone carried out their responsibilities seamlessly. Despite all the disruptions caused by the pandemic, NCKU’s medical personnel did their best to care for every person that walked into the screening stations.
Tainan City Public Health Bureau director I-Lin Hsu thanked NCKU Hospital for setting up the screening stations to deal with the family cluster infection. As all the PCR test results came back negative, Hsu expressed relief for the neighborhood and the community that they can finally put their minds at ease.
Afterward, the Tainan City Government convened a first-level command center epidemic prevention conference. Topics that were discussed included the July 1st rollout of the Moderna vaccine, the Annan District family cluster infection incident, and the remaining vaccines among other epidemic prevention-related matters. The Tainan City Government expressed gratitude to NCKU for their support in getting everyone screened and hopes that this experience may serve as a precedence for the future. Director of the NCKU Department of Nursing Professor Nai-Ying Ko, who attended the conference virtually, applauded the rapidness with which the Annan family cluster infection incident was handled, complimenting the precision in tracking the virus as well as the expansive screening efforts. Amidst the extended period of Taiwan’s COVID-19 alert level, the Tainan City Government cautions against lowering one’s guard against the epidemic and asks all first-line workers and people to continue adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing.