CORONAVIRUS/COVID cluster under control; no immediate plans to tighten rules: CECC
Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) Two new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Tuesday in a cluster that has several Delta variant infections, but the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said the situation was under control and it had no immediate plans to tighten its disease-prevention restrictions.
As of Tuesday, 32 cases have been confirmed in the cluster, which is linked to a preschool and an apartment complex in New Taipei's Banqiao District, according to the CECC.
The two new cases were a student at the preschool and her father, said Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) at the CECC's daily press briefing.
As the two patients were both already in quarantine when they tested positive, their infections do not reflect any further spread of the disease into the broader community, Chen said, adding that the situation is under control.
The first two cases reported in the cluster -- a preschool teacher and her husband -- were confirmed on Sept. 5.
Prior to Tuesday, nine students at the preschool, 12 of their relatives, three people who live in the same apartment complex as one of the students, a coworker of one of the relatives and his wife, and a construction worker who had worked briefly at the complex and his wife had also tested positive for COVID-19, data indicated.
Genome sequencing results showed that at least 21 of the patients were infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus, according to the CECC.
On the question of whether the CECC planned to adjust the national Level 2 COVID-19 alert when it expires on Sept. 20, Chen said the discussions were currently focused on the possibility of easing rather than tightening some of the restrictions.
The CECC first raised the COVID-19 alert to Level 2, the third-highest level on its four-tier scale, when it announced on May 11 that Taiwan had entered the community transmission stage of COVID-19.
The alert was raised to Level 3 on May 19, after the country saw a surge in domestic cases, and lowered again on July 27 to Level 2, where it has remained after multiple extensions, the latest of which is set to expire on Sept. 20.
In addition to the two new domestic infections reported Tuesday, Taiwan also recorded three new imported cases, involving Taiwanese nationals who returned from Cambodia, the United States, and Indonesia.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 16,098 COVID-19 cases, of which 14,406 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.
With no new deaths reported Tuesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in the country remained at 839, with all but 12 recorded since May 15, CECC data showed.
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