Taipei, March 25 (CNA) Taiwan confirmed 19 new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Wednesday, bringing the total to 235 in the country since the pandemic began, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.
All of the patients contracted the disease overseas and they consisted of 18 Taiwanese and an American working in Taiwan, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.
Among the 19, seven were male and 12 were female. They entered Taiwan after traveling abroad between March 12 and March 22, and began showing symptoms between March 15 and March 23, Chen said.
The countries they had traveled to before arriving in Taiwan included the United Kingdom, the United States, Egypt, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Turkey and Thailand.
According to the CECC, four patients, identified as case numbers 222-225, studied in the same school in the U.K. as case No. 152, who was confirmed with COVID-19 on March 21.
The four started showing symptoms up to a week before returning to Taiwan together on March 22, and these cases may indicate there are cluster infections of COVID-19 at their school, Chen said.
Another case, case No. 233, also studied in the U.K. and traveled with a high school classmate around the country there before the two returned to Taiwan together on March 21, the CECC said.
Though she showed no symptoms upon arrival and went home to self-quarantine, she began to feel sick on March 23 and tested positive for the disease on Wednesday, while her former classmate was confirmed to be infected a day earlier, the CECC said.
Also included in the new cases is the latest and 10th case of a cluster infection involving a tour group that traveled to Egypt in early March, the CECC said.
According to the CECC, case No. 226 has been under home isolation since a member of the tour group was first confirmed with COVID-19, and began showing symptoms on March 21.
The remaining 13 were all individual cases, including an American man in his 30s who works in Taiwan, the CECC said.
The U.S. national went home from March 4 to March 18, began showing symptoms two days after returning to Taiwan, and tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the CECC said.
To date, 197 of the 235 cases of the disease recorded to date in Taiwan have been classified as imported, according to CECC data.