Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) Three more Taiwanese were confirmed infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) late Thursday, just several hours after the country reported two new cases earlier in the day.
Of the three new cases, two are a married couple, both in their 50s, who transited through Hong Kong from Taiwan on Jan. 22 for Italy on vacation with two other family members, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.
After their return trip on Feb. 1, also through Hong Kong, the couple developed a fever and subsequently sought medical attention, during which tests showed that they had contracted the novel coronavirus and are currently being quarantined, Chen said.
So far the two other family members have not shown symptoms of illness, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The health minister speculated that they probably contracted the virus on the long-haul Hong Kong-Italy flight as they were in a confined cabin space for many hours.
The third victim is a woman, in her 40s, who visited Macau from Jan. 21-24 on holiday with three other family members, he said, adding that she developed a fever and immediately sought medical attention at a local hospital on Monday.
At the time, her symptoms were not identified as the novel coronavirus and she was given a prescription and told to rest at home.
However, when her condition failed to improve, the woman returned to seek medical help on Wednesday, and further tests showed that she had contracted the virus.
According to the health minister, the doctor who saw her did not suspect her illness to be the novel coronavirus because the symptoms were mild and also because Macau at that time was not viewed as a seriously infected area.
The woman is currently being treated in an isolation ward and is in a stable condition, the CECC said.
The three cases late Thursday bring the total number of infected people in Taiwan to 16.