CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan adds 23 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total to 100

03/18/2020 04:37 PM
CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) A total of 23 new COVID-19 cases, 21 of which originated overseas, were confirmed in Taiwan on Wednesday, bringing the total number in the country to 100, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.

Among the new cases, two are believed to have contracted the coronavirus locally, said CECC head, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中).

One of the two, a man in his 20s, is the child of confirmed COVID-19 patient who contracted the virus during a recent trip to Egypt.

The man was asked to take a test by health authorities because of his close contact with the confirmed case and tested positive even though he has so far shown no symptoms of infection, Chen said.

Another local case is a woman in her 20s who has no recent overseas travel history but developed a sore throat, coughing and fever, on March 12, Chen said during a CECC press event.

CECC expert Chang Shang-chun (張上淳) said the patient's family members have not shown any COVID-19 symptoms, and health authorities are still trying to determine the source of her infection.

Meanwhile, of the 21 new imported cases, four of them were members of a group that visited Turkey from March 4 to 13.

The latest addition of the four new cases means 13 of the 15-member tour group have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, and health authorities are monitoring the health of 171 people they came in contact with after returning to Taiwan, the CECC said.

The other 17 showed symptoms of infection between Feb. 14 and March 16 during and after traveling to Spain (3), the U.S. (3), the United Kingdom (2), France (2), and Indonesia, Qatar, the Philippines, Switzerland, and Germany (one each).

One of the 17 cases visited France, Spain and the U.K. while another toured the U.K., Italy and France during that period, according to the CECC.

As of Wednesday, 71 of the 100 confirmed cases in Taiwan have been classified as imported, the CECC said.

Globally, over 193,748 COVID-19 cases and at least 7,086 deaths had been reported in 145 countries/territories worldwide, according to the CECC.

Currently, 22 of the 100 coronavirus patients in Taiwan have been released from quarantine, while one patient has died and the others are still in negative pressure hospital quarantine rooms, but are all in a relatively stable condition, according to the CECC.

(By Chen Wei-ting, Chang Ming-hsuan and Joseph Yeh)

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