CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan sees no new COVID-19 cases for fifth straight day

07/08/2020 04:30 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (center) speaks during the CECC
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (center) speaks during the CECC's weekly press briefing Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) Taiwan went a fifth straight day without a COVID-19 case on Wednesday, keeping the total at 449 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

To date, 438 of Taiwan's 449 COVID-19 patients have recovered, seven have died, and four remain in hospital quarantine, the CECC said in a statement.

Wednesday also marked the 87th consecutive day of no locally transmitted cases of the disease, according to CECC data.

Meanwhile, at a weekly press briefing Wednesday, CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said 213 people who may have come in contact with a Japanese student later confirmed to have the disease have all tested negative for COVID-19 antibodies.

The Japanese woman, who is in her 20s, had been studying at a university in southern Taiwan since February before testing positive for COVID-19 in a PCR test after she returned to Japan on June 20.

As many as 123 people who came in close contact with the Japanese student have all tested negative for antibodies for the disease, Chang said, and they also previously tested negative for the disease itself using the PCR test.

In addition, another 90 students and teachers at the same university who have developed fevers or respiratory infections also were not found to have any antibodies to the disease, Chang said.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC, reminded Taiwanese to stay vigilant against the coronavirus as some countries around the world have seen spikes in new cases as they loosened COVID-19 restrictions.

"It serves as a reminder that even though the weather is hot, problems may arise if we do not keep wearing masks," Chen said.

The last time Taiwan recorded a new COVID-19 case was on July 3, involving a man in his 50s who returned from South Africa on July 1.

Of Taiwan's 449 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 358 have been classified as imported, 55 as locally acquired, and 36 as a cluster infection aboard a naval ship, which was confirmed to have originated in Taiwan.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 11,796,201 people in 187 countries and regions, including 3,046,765 in the United States, 1,668,589 in Brazil, 719,665 in India, 694,230 in the Russia, and 309,278 in the Peru, with a total of 543,581 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Wednesday.

(By William Yen)

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