CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports one new COVID-19 case, bringing total to 446

06/18/2020 07:26 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) A man who returned from Bangladesh last week has been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan to 446, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.

The new patient, in his 60s, had been working in Bangladesh since January and flew to Malaysia on June 12 before returning to Taiwan the following day, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press conference.

On the flight from Malaysia, the man sat one row in front of a couple, who were also returning to Taiwan from Bangladesh and were diagnosed Monday with COVID-19, Chuang said.

Upon arrival in Taiwan, the man did not report any symptoms, and he went directly from the airport into mandatory 14-day home isolation, Chuang said.

Since Monday, the CECC said, it has tested 11 people who were on the same flight from Malaysia. Among them, the man is the only who has tested positive, and he is now in hospital quarantine, the CECC said.

According to Chuang, health authorities are trying contact six other people who were on the flight two rows ahead of the man.

The man most likely contracted the disease in Bangladesh, Chuang said, adding that the overall risk of COVID-19 infection in that country is unclear.

Regarding the couple, Chuang said they were diagnosed with the disease in Bangladesh in May and cleared of it there on June 2, but tested positive again after they returned to Taiwan.

Based on that timeline, they were already more than 20 days into the infection when they took the flight to Taiwan, which meant they were unlikely to be contagious, Chuang said.

As of Thursday, Bangladesh had reported 98,489 cases of COVID-19 and 1,305 fatalities, according to CECC statistics.

Taiwan, meanwhile, has confirmed 446 cases, with 434 recoveries, seven deaths, and five patients in hospital quarantine, according to the CECC.

Of those cases, the CECC has classified 355 as imported, 55 as locally acquired and 36 as a cluster infection aboard a naval ship, an outbreak that was confirmed to have originated in Taiwan.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Matthew Mazzetta)

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