Taiwan confirms 2 more cases of COVID-19, bringing total to 34 (update)

02/28/2020 05:46 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中)
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中)

Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday reported two new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which brings the total number in Taiwan to 34.

The 33rd confirmed case of COVID-19 infection was a man in his 30s from northern Taiwan, who recently traveled to Japan, the CECC said.

He was with 21 other people as part of a local tour group that visited Osaka between Feb. 17 and Feb. 22, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told reporters at a press briefing in Taipei.

According to Chen, the man developed a cough and itchy throat on Feb. 25, a few days after his return to Taiwan, and decided to seek medical attention the next day when his symptoms persisted.

The result of a test conducted on the patient confirmed Friday that he had contracted the COVID-19 virus, Chen said, noting that the man has since been placed in a hospital negative-pressure ward for treatment.

The health authority will continue its efforts to track down and monitor the health of those he came into contact with, including the other tour members as well as his family and co-workers, Chen said.

Meanwhile, the 34th case is a woman in her 50s who has a history of chronic illness, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the CECC said.

Initially, the patient sought medical attention for fatigue and tiredness on Feb. 14, and was admitted to hospital after she was found to have low blood pressure.

At the time, she did not display any symptoms related to the virus and it was not until Feb. 21 that she started coughing and developed a fever while in hospital, the epidemic center said, noting that it was only on Feb. 26 that the woman was diagnosed with respiratory symptoms and tested.

The result on Friday confirmed that she had contracted the COVID-19 virus.

The woman's travel history shows no trips abroad in recent years, the CECC said, indicating that the health authority is currently trying to establish the number of people she potentially came into contact with, besides the hospital workers who cared for her.

According to the CECC, the woman's family members have not shown any symptoms of illness.

(By Chang Min-hsuan and Ko Lin)

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