CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports first death from COVID-19 Delta variant

07/22/2021 04:51 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, July 22 (CNA) A 72-year-old woman in Pingtung County died Wednesday of the COVID-19 Delta variant, the first fatality in Taiwan caused by the highly contagious virus strain, the county government said Thursday.

The woman was part of a cluster infection first recorded in southern Taiwan on June 22. A total of 17 COVID-19 cases have been identified as related to the Pingtung cluster.

The woman tested positive for the virus on June 29 and since then had been intubated, said Shih Cheng-kuei (施丞貴), director of the county's Public Health Bureau.

Her condition deteriorated on Wednesday afternoon and soon after she succumbed to the disease, Shih said. According to the health bureau, the woman had diabetes and high blood pressure.

The woman's 73-year-old husband has also contracted COVID-19.

According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the couple could have been infected at Fangliao General Hospital, which they visited six times from June 14 to June 26 because the husband had a serious leg injury.

In particular, the couple may have had brief contact with a 71-year-old woman, who tested positive for the virus on June 22, at the hospital on the morning of June 16, when the three had consultations in adjacent rooms, the CECC said.

Following reports about the visits of COIVD-19 patients, the hospital postponed emergency and clinic services on June 28 to disinfect and test staff members, patients and their contacts.

The hospital resumed operations 16 days later after no further infections were reported to have occurred there.

Among the remaining 16 people identified as part of the Pingtung cluster infection, 13 have been discharged after recovering and three are still being treated at the hospital, the county government said.

None of the three patients are in critical condition, the county government added.

(By Kuo Chih-hsuan and Teng Pei-ju)

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