CORONAVIRUS/No new COVID-19 cases reported in Taiwan Wednesday

07/29/2020 04:07 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (center) speaks with other CECC officials. Photo courtesy of the CECC
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (center) speaks with other CECC officials. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) No new COVID-19 cases were reported in Taiwan on Wednesday after two consecutive days of imported infections that hiked the total number of cases to 467 since the pandemic began late last year.

Taiwan reported a total of nine new imported cases from Lesotho, South Africa, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the United States on Monday and Tuesday, but no domestically transmitted cases have been reported since April 12.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has yet to classify a Thai worker in Taiwan who tested positive for COVID-19 just days after he returned to Thailand as a domestic case.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC, said at a weekly press briefing that all 189 people thought to have come into contact with the Thai worker at his workplace and dormitory in Taiwan have all tested negative for the virus and its antibodies.

The antibody tests were done to see if the virus had been present in any of the 189 people to determine if any of them could have been the source of the infection.

"The results show that any possibility of transmission in the workplace was very low," Chen said.

"Our understanding is that his test result was a weak positive, so we are contacting Thai authorities to have him tested a second time to confirm the initial results," Chen said.

The CECC will also continue to search for any contacts of the migrant worker outside of work such as during shopping or other social outings, according to Chen.

The Thai national in his 30s, who came to Taiwan in January 2018 to work, developed diarrhea the day after he returned to Thailand on July 21 but did not exhibit any of the other classic symptoms of COVID-19, the CECC said on Tuesday.

The man was tested on July 25, and the results came back positive, the CECC said.

Of the 467 cases recorded in the country since the outbreak began late last year, 376 have been classified as imported, 55 as locally acquired, and 36 as a cluster infection on board a naval ship, an outbreak that was later confirmed to have originated in Taiwan.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 16,701,684 people in 187 countries and regions, including 4,436,478 in the United States, 2,483,191 in Brazil, 1,483,156 in India, 823,515 in the Russia, and 459,761in South Africa, with a total of 659,892 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Wednesday.

"The number of new cases have doubled in the last six weeks," Chen said.

Even though it is relatively safe in Taiwan, it is still important for everyone to stay vigilant and continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and frequently wash their hands to minimize any potential threats of infection, Chen added.

(By William Yen)

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