CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan confirms first new case of COVID-19 in two weeks

05/21/2020 04:04 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) One new case of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease was reported in Taiwan on Thursday, breaking a 13-day stretch of zero new confirmed infections in the country, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The new patient is a Taiwanese man in his 30s who went to Mexico in January on a work trip and returned to Taiwan on Wednesday, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.

While in Mexico, the man developed a fever around April 30, a mild cough on May 5, and diarrhea May 11-13, Chen said at the CECC's daily press briefing.

Upon arrival in Taiwan, the man reported his symptoms to quarantine officers and was immediately tested for COVID-19 before being sent to a quarantine center, Chen said.

The test came back positive Thursday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan to 441 since the outbreak began in late 2019.

According to Chen, the man was wearing a protective suit and surgical mask on the flights from Mexico to Taiwan.

To date, 350 of Taiwan's 441 cases have been classified as imported, while 55 are believed to be local infections, according to CECC statistics.

The other 36 are people were serving on a Navy fast combat support ship, part of a Pacific goodwill fleet that returned to Taiwan on April 9. The CECC has not yet classified those infections as either local or imported.

Taiwan has not recorded any locally transmitted cases since April 12, according to the CECC data.

So far, 407 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, seven have died, and the others are in hospital, the CECC said.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 5,021,902 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,575,065 in the United States, 308,705 in Russia, 271,628 in Brazil, 251,290 in the United Kingdom, and 232,555 in Spain, with a total of 327,141 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Thursday.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Joseph Yeh)

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