CORONAVIRUS/New COVID-19 cases under 200 for third consecutive day
Taipei, June 15 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday reported 135 new cases of COVID-19, marking the third straight day with fewer than 200 cases and indicating that the outbreak continues to ease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The new cases on Tuesday consisted of 132 domestic infections and three imported cases, the CECC said, while also reporting eight new COVID-19-related deaths.
The relatively low number of new cases -- following totals of 175 on Sunday and 185 on Monday -- is "a good sign," and shows that the outbreak has entered a "downward trend," Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press conference.
Chen cautioned, however, that the string of low case totals could rise in the short term, as the health authorities test migrant workers from six "high-risk" companies in Miaoli's Zhunan Township, where several cluster infections were reported earlier this month.
The testing, which began on Tuesday and will be completed on Wednesday, is focused on 1,400 foreign workers from the companies who are currently in government-designated quarantine facilities, said Chen, who also heads the CECC.
Of that group, around two-thirds are employees of King Yuan Electronics Co. who entered quarantine after testing negative with COVID-19 rapid tests on June 5-6, Chen said.
The other one-third are employees of five other companies in Zhunan, who began quarantining after testing negative on June 7-8, he added.
According to Chen, the CECC anticipates that up to 10-15 percent of this group, or between 150-200 people, could test positive for the disease.
While these new cases may drive up the daily totals in the short term, they do not pose a threat to the broader public, as the individuals in question have already been isolated for 7-10 days, Chen said.
Of the 132 domestic cases on Tuesday, nearly half were in New Taipei, which reported 65 cases, followed by Taipei with 26 cases, Miaoli with 18 and Taoyuan with 12.
Keelung reported three cases, while Tainan, Taichung and Hualien each reported two, and Changhua and Chiayi each reported one.
Of the 41 cases outside Taipei and New Taipei, 33 had a known source of infection, while six had "unclear links" to other cases and two were under investigation, the CECC said.
Meanwhile, the three new imported cases were those of an Indonesian man who came to Taiwan to work, and two Taiwanese nationals who returned to the country from Peru.
The new cases brought the total number in Taiwan to 13,241, of which over 11,500 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first reported over 100 cases in a single day.
Meanwhile, the eight fatalities reported Tuesday were three men and five women, aged in their 50s to their 90s, who died between June 6 and June 12, the CECC said.
To date, 460 people in Taiwan have died from COVID-19, including 448 since May 15.
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