CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 58 new cases, outbreak in Taipei market
Taipei, July 2 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday reported 58 new cases of COVID-19, falling under 100 for the eighth straight day, but 15 more people died of the disease and other cases discovered at a Taipei wholesale market created some uncertainty over the outbreak's path.
Speaking at the daily Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) press briefing, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the recent outbreak continues to ease, but the new cases confirmed at the wholesale market in Wanhua District needed to be closely monitored.
Taipei reported earlier Friday that 41 vendors in the market tested positive for COVID-19, none of which were included in Friday's tallies.
The cases were discovered as all vendors at the site were being tested for COVID-19 after the nearby First Fruit & Vegetable Wholesale Market reported a cluster infection in late June.
The PCR screening program was to test around 2,800 individuals at Huannan Market and another 8,400 people at the First and Second Fruit & Vegetable Wholesale Markets from July 1 to 3.
It was not known how many people at the Huannan Market had been tested to get the 41 positive results.
More cases could be discovered as testing continues, but for now operations at Huannan Market will be suspended until July 5 so that it can be fully disinfected, Chen said.
Using the government's contact tracing app, text messages are also being sent to anyone who has visited the market over the past few days to urge them to get tested for COVID-19, Chen said.
According to the CECC, it expects to have all of the contacts of infected vendors identified and quarantined by Saturday, while a special command center has been set up at Huannan Market to monitor the situation there.
Friday's new cases brought the total in the country to 14,911, of which around 13,500 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 COVID-19 cases in a single day.
The 15 deaths reported were eight men and seven women, in their 40s to 80s, who passed away between June 3 and June 30, the CECC said.
To date, 676 people in Taiwan have died of COVID-19, including 664 since May 15.
Of the 57 new domestic cases reported Thursday, 29 were in Taipei and 15 in New Taipei.
Hsinchu County reported four cases, with three each in Taoyuan and Keelung. Taichung reported two cases and Hsinchu City one, CECC data showed.
No new case was reported for a cluster in Pingtung County caused by the Delta variant.
Among the 57 cases, six had unclear links to other cases, 23 are being investigated and 28 had a known source of infection, the CECC said.
The one imported case, meanwhile, was a Taiwanese national in her 50s, who entered Taiwan on June 28 from Hungary, the CECC said.
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