CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 2 new imported COVID-19 cases

04/16/2021 04:55 PM
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CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang. CNA photo April 16, 2021
CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang. CNA photo April 16, 2021

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday confirmed two imported cases of COVID-19 infection, from the Philippines and Croatia, bringing the total number of cases in the nation to 1,070 since the pandemic emerged in late 2019, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The case from the Philippines is a Taiwanese in his 30s, who flew to the Southeast Asian country for work in January 2020. On April 3, when he returned to Taiwan, the man reported a frequent runny nose due to preexisting allergies.

The man also reported that he lost his sense of smell on March 10 for five to six days, while in the Philippines. At the time, he did not seek medical treatment, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at Friday's press briefing.

On arriving in Taiwan, the man was tested, with the results coming back positive on Friday. Three contacts, who sat in the rows immediately in front of and behind him during the flight, have been identified, according to Chuang.

The second case involves a Croatian national in his 30s, who experienced a fever as well as an abnormal sense of smell and taste in his home country on Dec. 10 last year.

The man tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 14, Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, receiving negative results on Feb. 1 and Feb. 3.

The Croatian flew to Taiwan on Feb. 4 and was tested again on Feb. 20 after completing 14 days of mandatory home quarantine. The result came back negative and the man continued to observe self-health management protocols.

Working on a boat, he left Taiwan on March 7 and returned to a Taiwanese port on April 7. During that period, the man experienced zero symptoms, according to the CECC.

He was tested again on April 14, along with 15 colleagues from the same boat, at their own expense, in order to be able to depart from Taiwan.

The results came back on Friday indicating the man was positive, while his 15 colleagues were negative.

No contacts were identified because the man had his own room with a shower on the boat, the CECC said.

The two individuals both had proof of negative COVID-19 test results within three days of their flight at the time they entered Taiwan, according to the CECC.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 1,070 cases of COVID-19, with 954 classified as imported. Of the total, 1,032 have recovered, 11 have died and 27 are in hospital, according to CECC statistics.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 138.67 million people in 193 countries and regions, with more than 2.99 million fatalities as of Friday, CECC data shows.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)

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