CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan confirms one new COVID-19 case, vaccinations pass 10,000

03/30/2021 05:28 PM
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CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (center). CNA photo March 30, 2021
CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (center). CNA photo March 30, 2021

Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday confirmed one new imported case of COVID-19, while the number of people who have received their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine has now surpassed 10,000, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The new case involved a Taiwanese woman in her 30s who went to study in the United Kingdom in September 2019 and returned to Taiwan on March 28, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing.

Upon arrival, the woman was sent to a government quarantine center and was tested for COVID-19, as is required for all travelers from the U.K., Chuang said.

Her test came back positive on Tuesday, Chuang said, while the 13 passengers who sat closest to her on her flight all tested negative.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 1,024 cases of COVID-19, 908 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 981 patients have recovered, 10 have died and 33 are in the hospital, according to CECC statistics as of Tuesday.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 127.4 million people in 193 countries and regions, with more than 2.7 million fatalities, CECC data shows.

Also on Tuesday, Chuang said more than 10,000 people in Taiwan have received their first shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Taiwan to date has received 117,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, all from AstraZeneca. The shipment arrived on March 3, and distribution of the vaccine began on March 22 after the AstraZeneca product underwent an inspection by Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration.

The rollout has been relatively slow, with 10,891 people having gotten a shot as of 10 a.m. Tuesday.

According to Chuang, the number of people getting the vaccine increased between Monday and Friday last week, from 1,592 people per day to 2,208 people per day.

Only a few hospitals in Kaohsiung organized vaccinations on Saturday, and none were administered anywhere in Taiwan on Sunday, he said.

So far, although all cities and counties in Taiwan have received vaccine doses, the island county of Lienchiang (Matsu) has yet to begin its rollout.

A total of 37 non-serious reactions to the vaccine have been recorded so far, involving patients who have reported minor symptoms including headaches, muscle soreness, fever, and redness or pain around the injection site after receiving the jab.

Four serious events have also been reported, according to the CECC's daily report on Taiwan's vaccination rollout.

Of the four cases, three were hospitalized, including one who had a fever and felt short of breath, while another had a fever and dizziness, the report showed.

A third patient with a history of arrhythmia had irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and soreness and pain in their limbs. The patient was later admitted to an intensive care unit for observation, and is in stable condition.

A fourth patient had a severe allergic reaction, according to the report.

Up to now, Taiwan has signed contracts to purchase a total of 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 4.76 million doses of vaccines through the COVAX allocation program, but it remains unclear when these vaccines will be delivered.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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