CORONAVIRUS/First locally transmitted Delta variant cases confirmed in Pingtung

06/26/2021 06:24 PM
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Military members carry out wide disinfection in Pingtung on Saturday. CNA photo June 26, 2021
Military members carry out wide disinfection in Pingtung on Saturday. CNA photo June 26, 2021

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) Six cases of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Pingtung County, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday, but the number could increase.

Six other newly reported COVID-19 cases in Pingtung County involved people living or having come into contact with an unlicensed taxi driver confirmed to have the Delta variant, and the CECC is now trying to determine if they also had the same variant of the virus.

The CECC first confirmed two of the six Delta variant cases on Friday, involving a woman in her 50s and her grandson, both of whom returned from Peru on June 6.

A 71-year-old woman identified as the third case of the Delta COVID variant is believed to have briefly come in contact with the woman who was back from Peru during the latter's home isolation period, according to the CECC.

The Pingtung Country government, which is responsible for contact-tracing efforts, has yet to determine if the two women violated quarantine protocols.

The other three Delta variant cases involve a 63-year-old unlicensed taxi driver and two people who live with the 71-year-old woman. One of those two people got a ride from the taxi driver, possibly infecting him.

After the county government confirmed the infection of the driver on June 23, it then discovered the possible chain of infections connecting the people who returned from Peru and the driver.

As of Saturday, another six people who came into contact with the driver or his contacts had also tested positive for the virus, but the CECC was not yet able to confirm which variant they were infected with.

Meanwhile, a rapid testing site was set up in Pingtung's Fangshan Township, where the first locally transmitted cases of the Delta COVID variant were reported, to screen local residents for the disease.

First detected in India, the Delta variant is likely to become the world's dominant strain of COVID-19, because of its "significantly enhanced transmissibility," according to the World Health Organization.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chiang Hui-chun and Teng Pei-ju)

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