CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 219 COVID-19 cases, 22 deaths (update)
Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday reported 219 cases of COVID-19, all of which were domestic infections, as well as 22 deaths from the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
At the daily CECC press briefing, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) noted that the new case numbers on Monday and Tuesday were relatively low.
Taking into account retroactive confirmed cases, domestic infections have been averaging about 400 per day over the past three weeks, and the 211 reported Monday was the lowest number since May 16, CECC data shows.
The relatively lower case numbers do not mean that people can let down their guard, however, as the downtrend has been for only two days, he said.
He repeated President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) call for people not to travel long distances during the upcoming three-day Dragon Boat Festival weekend, and he thanked those who have already canceled their plans to return to their hometowns for the holiday that starts Saturday.
On Tuesday, New Taipei reported 123 COVID-19 cases, the highest number, followed by Taipei with 54, and Miaoli County 16.
In Miaoli, 243 cases linked to cluster infections at several tech companies have been confirmed, including 196 migrant workers, according to Chen.
Taoyuan reported 13 cases, Keelung eight, Changhua County two, and one each was confirmed in Tainan, Hsinchu and Taichung.
Six of the cases had an unknown source of infection, Chen said.
The 22 deaths reported Tuesday were 15 men and seven women, aged 30 to 100-plus, who passed away between May 30 and June 7, according to the CECC.
According to CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), people 60 years old and over accounted for 92 percent of the deaths, while the overall fatality rate was 2.6 percent.
He said genome sequencing showed that the dominant COVID-19 virus in Taiwan is the "Alpha" variant of the COVID-19 virus, which was first detected in the United Kingdom.
"So far, we have not seen virus mutations that could lead to a higher mortality rate," he said.
The Alpha variant was also identified in cluster infections linked to China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan's major carriers, and an airport hotel in Taiwan in late April.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 11,694 COVID-19 cases, over 10,000 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 308, including 296 recorded since May 15, CECC data shows.
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