CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 89 COVID-19 cases; more Delta variant cases confirmed

06/27/2021 05:03 PM
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Taipei, June 27 (CNA) Taiwan reported 89 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, and confirmed that two more previously reported cases involved the highly infectious Delta variant of the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at the CECC press briefing that cluster infections around the country are now one of the main focuses of disease prevention efforts, including the one in Pingtung County.

The cluster in Pingtung originated from a woman and her grandson who recently returned to Taiwan from Peru.

Of the 12 COVID-19 cases in the cluster, eight of the people infected have now been confirmed to have the Delta variant of the virus, according to new genome sequencing results Sunday, Chen said.

Because the remaining four cases in the cluster are all relatives of those infected with the Delta variant, it is likely that they have also been infected with the same variant, Chen said.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung talks about the cluster infections of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in Pingtung and the result of tests conducted in the local communities during Sunday
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung talks about the cluster infections of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in Pingtung and the result of tests conducted in the local communities during Sunday's COVID-19 press briefing. Photo courtesy of the CECC

The Delta variant of COVID-19 was first detected in India, and is the "most transmissible" of the variants identified so far, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Pingtung cluster involves the first locally transmitted cases of the Delta variant in Taiwan, and the government has quarantined 173 contacts of the patients as well as stepped up vaccination efforts in the area.

Of the 88 domestic cases reported Sunday, 41 were in New Taipei, 33 in Taipei, and eight in Tainan.

Taoyuan reported three cases, while one each was reported in Hsinchu City and Pingtung and Nantou counties.

The source of infection in 60 of the cases has been identified, 26 are under investigation, and two have unknown sources, the CECC said.

There was also one new COVID-19 case that originated outside of Taiwan, involving a Taiwanese man in his 20s who recently returned from Austria.

The nine deaths were three men and six women in their 40s to 90s, who passed away between June 22 and June 26. They all had chronic illnesses, according to the CECC.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 14,634 COVID-19 cases, over 13,200 of which are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country has risen to 632, with all except 12 recorded since May 15, CECC data shows.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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