CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 54 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more Delta infection
Taipei, June 29 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 and confirmed that another case in a cluster in Pingtung County was caused by the infectious Delta variant of the virus, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
At a press briefing, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said a farmer in Fangliao Township in Pingtung County, whose case was reported Sunday, was confirmed to have been infected with the Delta variant.
The farmer's wife also tested positive on Tuesday, which means she probably has the Delta variant also, Chen said, adding that the genome sequencing results in her case are still pending.
The Pingtung cluster has become the focal point of the CECC's containment efforts since it was identified last week, starting with a woman and her grandson who had recently returned to Taiwan from Peru.
A total of 14 cases have since been linked to the cluster, nine of which have been confirmed as infections of the Delta variant that was first detected in India, according to Chen.
In the Delta case reported Tuesday, Chen said, the farmer is believed to have been infected during a June 16 visit to Fangliao General Hospital, where precautionary testing of 263 patients and staff members is being carried out, on the instructions of the CECC.
County health authorities have also screened some 3,600 people at local testing stations in recent days, and 2,916 of them have tested negative for COVID-19, so far, Chen said. (Update: Hospital identified as possible site of transmission in Pingtung Delta cluster)
"We currently do not see any signs that the (Delta) variant is spreading," Chen said, citing the CECC's contact tracing and test findings.
On Tuesday, the CECC reported 54 new COVID-19 infections, including 22 in New Taipei and 20 in Taipei City, which remained the hotspots of the outbreak in Taiwan.
Four cases each were confirmed in Taoyuan and Hsinchu County, while Changhua reported two cases, and Keelung and Pingtung each reported one.
The source of infection in 31 of the new cases has been found, while 18 are being investigated, and the sources of five remain unknown, CECC data showed.
Meanwhile, the CECC reported eight deaths on Tuesday, five men and three women in their 60s to their 80s, who passed away between June 25 and 27.
The new COVID-19 cases bring the total in the country to 14,748, of which more than 13,300 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.
To date, 643 people in Taiwan have died of COVID-19, including 631 since May 15.
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