CORONAVIRUS/No new COVID-19 cases linked to preschool, EVA Air clusters
Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) No new COVID-19 cases linked to a preschool cluster in New Taipei or cluster infection involving three EVA Airways pilots and one family member were reported Friday, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The number of cases in the cluster related to a preschool and an apartment complex in Banqiao District, New Taipei, remains at 27, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.
Four more COVID-19 cases in the cluster were reported Thursday, two family members of a student who lives in the Banqiao apartment complex, a construction worker who worked at the complex in August, and the worker's wife.
The first two cases in the cluster -- a preschool teacher and her husband -- were confirmed on Sept. 5. By Wednesday, nine students at the preschool, nine of their family members, and three people who live in the same apartment complex as one of the students had also tested positive.
Genomic sequencing of samples taken from two infected patients tied to the preschool cluster was positive for the Delta variant of the virus, but the genome sequencing result indicates a divergence with cases in the EVA Air cluster who also contracted the Delta variant, according to Chen.
The two infected patients are the wife and son of a Egyptian national who arrived in Taiwan from Egypt on Aug. 4 and tested positive on Wednesday after having tested negative twice during quarantine.
Along with the Egyptian man, his brother and cousin who also arrived in Taiwan on Aug. 4, tested positive for the virus but their antibody test results came back negative, meaning they were likely infected with the virus less than 10 days ago, according to Chen.
An investigation is ongoing to determine whether the Egyptian man is the source of the infection in the community, Chen said, adding that the three men who are currently classified as imported cases could be reclassified as domestic cases.
Of the 2,196 contacts of the confirmed cases in the preschool and community cluster required to get tested for COVID-19, 1,280 tested negative, 22 positive and 894 are still being tested, according to the CECC.
In addition, no more cases were added to the cluster involving three EVA Air pilots and the son of one of the pilots, who were all confirmed as having contracted the COVID-19 Delta variant earlier this week, Chen said.
He added that contacts of the infected EVA Air pilots have all tested negative twice, while the results of second testing on 227 contacts of the son also came back negative, showing that the virus spread has been brought under control.
Also Friday, Taiwan reported two new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, including a junior high school student in Taipei.
A student at a junior high school in Songshan District was confirmed as infected with the virus, Chen said, and health authorities are still searching for the source of the infection.
The student's class has been suspended for 14 days, he said.
The other domestic case is a man in his 60s who lives in New Taipei, developed chest pain, nausea and muscle soreness Tuesday and sought medical attention the following day. He tested positive Friday.
The sole death reported on Friday was a man in his 70s who had a history of chronic illness, the CECC said, adding that the man died on Sept. 5.
To date, 839 people have died of COVID-19 in Taiwan, including 827 since May 15.
Also Friday, Taiwan recorded five imported cases, including two persons from the United States, and one each from Turkey, Japan and Armenia who arrived in Taiwan between Aug. 26 and Sept. 8.
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