TAIPEI -- A man infected with the new coronavirus will pay a penalty of 300,000 New Taiwan dollars ($10,000) for concealing his illness after traveling to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, Taiwanese health authorities said Saturday.
The man is one of three people as of Saturday in Taiwan who had been diagnosed as suffering from the potentially deadly infection, which can cause pneumonia.
He tested positive for the virus Wednesday at a hospital in the southern city of Kaohsiung, where the fine was announced, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.
The penalty shows President Tsai Ing-wen's government is willing to enforce quarantine rules against the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 1,300 people and killed over 40 in mainland China. The ongoing Lunar New Year holiday is a particularly risky time for infection, since many Taiwanese people employed on the mainland return home to spend time with family.
The man allegedly failed to disclose he had symptoms of an upper respiratory infection before he entered Taiwan, in violation of the infection control law. He is also said to have visited a Kaohsiung dance club without wearing a surgical mask.
More than 80 people who had contact with the infected traveler have been identified and are being tracked by health authorities. One dance club employee who reported symptoms including a cough has been quarantined for testing, according to the report.
Taiwan's Transport Ministry on Friday called on travel companies to cancel group tours to the mainland and stop accepting tours in the other direction.
During the 2003 outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, more than 70 people in Taiwan died.