Taiwan may be nearing new peak with Thursday's 585 COVID cases: CECC
Taipei, June 3 (CNA) Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Thursday said that Taiwan seems headed for a new peak in COVID-19 cases, as 585 new infections and 17 deaths from the disease were reported earlier in the day.
Of the 585 cases, 583 were classified as domestic infections -- with 364 newly confirmed and 219 reported from a backlog of test results over the past two weeks.
While the total number of cases on Thursday was slightly lower than the previous day, it was higher than on Tuesday, Chen noted at a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) press briefing.
The latest numbers are "not a good sign," he said, adding that it will be become clearer in a few days whether Taiwan is approaching a new peak.
Meanwhile, the percentage of COVID-19 patients in the 20-39 age group has climbed from 19.9 percent to 25.2 percent in the past two days, Chen said, cautioning young people in particular, and everyone else, to continue to follow the CECC's disease prevention regulations.
He said young people may be letting their guard down because of a decline in the number of cases reported last week.
However, "we cannot afford to be overly optimistic now," he said.
CECC data on Thursday showed that New Taipei and Taipei remained the two main COVID-19 hotspots, reporting 265 and 224 domestic cases, respectively.
Miaoli County reported 34, Taoyuan 30, Changhua County 15, Taichung five, and Keelung four.
Tainan confirmed two cases, while one each was reported in Hsinchu and Kaohsiung cities and Hualien and Yilan counties.
Of the 583 total domestic cases, 14 had unknown sources of infection, and three were under investigation, the CECC said.
The two imported COVID-19 cases reported Thursday involved Indonesian and Vietnamese nationals who came to Taiwan to work, according to the CECC.
The 17 fatalities were 13 men and four women, aged 40-100, who passed away between May 28 and June 1, the data showed.
Taiwan has confirmed a total of 9,974 COVID-19 cases, 8,500 of which are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country has risen to 166, including 154 recorded since May 15, CECC data shows.
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