CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan records two more COVID-19 deaths, eight new cases

03/30/2020 05:09 PM
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Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Taiwan confirmed eight new infections of COVID-19 coronavirus and another two deaths, which brought its total number of confirmed cases to 306 and its death toll to five, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The two latest fatalities were a woman in her 50s, and a man in his 60s with a history of recent travel to Spain, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.

The woman suffered from diabetes and cardiovascular disease and was admitted to hospital in northern Taiwan on Feb. 14 with low blood pressure, Chen said.

While in hospital, she developed a fever, cough and sore throat on Feb. 21 and tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 28, after which she was put in a negative pressure isolation room, according to the CECC.

She was one of the nine patients in a cluster infection at the hospital, where nurses, a janitor and other patients have contracted the disease, the CECC said.

In the case of the male patient who died, he had visited Spain with a tour group March 12-20 and tested positive for the coronavirus on March 23 after he returned to Taiwan with a cough and fever.

Meanwhile, among the eight new COVID-19 cases confirmed Monday, seven are imported, Chen said.

The patients deemed to have contracted COVID-19 overseas returned to Taiwan in the period March 2-22 and reported that their symptoms started between March 6 and 26, the CECC said.

The countries they had visited were the United Kingdom, the United States, the Philippines and Egypt, according to the CECC.

One of the cases is believed to be part of a cluster of seven infections among Taiwanese students who were at the same school in the U.K., the CECC said.

The one locally transmitted case is a 5-year-old boy whose father was confirmed earlier to have the disease (Case 269), Chen said.

The child's kindergarten class will be suspended for 14 days, and 17 people with whom he is known to have had contact will be closely monitored by health authorities, Chen said.

As of Monday, 262 of the 306 confirmed cases in Taiwan had been classified as imported, Chen said.

Currently, 39 of the 306 coronavirus patients in Taiwan have been released from quarantine, while five have died. The others are still in negative pressure rooms in hospitals but are all in a relatively stable condition, according to the CECC.

Globally, over 703,185 COVID-19 cases and at least 33,434 deaths had been reported in 177 countries/territories worldwide, as of Monday, the CECC said.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Joseph Yeh)

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