CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports six new COVID-19 cases; some department stores closed
Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) Taiwan reported six new COVID-19 cases on Monday, one of which led to the temporary shutdown of two department stores and a movie theater in Taipei, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Of the six new cases, two were transmitted domestically and four were contracted overseas, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a CECC press briefing.
Both of the domestic cases were reported in Taipei. One was a one-year-old boy whose family member had tested positive recently, and the other was a woman in her 20s.
The woman was in the United Kingdom and France from May to July, and after returning to Taiwan, she tested negative for COVID-19 twice while doing her 14-day quarantine.
She took another test Sunday in preparation for going abroad again, and the results came back positive this time, Chen said.
According to Taipei's Department of Health, the woman had previously contracted COVID-19 in September 2020 when she was abroad.
Whether she will continue to be listed as a domestic case requires more discussion, the health department said.
Prior to testing positive, the woman visited the Dayeh Takashimaya department store and Miramar Cinemas in the Miramar Entertainment Park on Sept. 18, and Far Eastern SOGO Tianmu department store on Sept. 19, the health department said.
The two department stores and the cinema were closed on Monday to be disinfected, and 493 people who were in the same place as the patient at the same time have been told via text message to monitor their health, the health department said.
The four imported cases reported on Monday, meanwhile, involved two Taiwanese nationals and two foreign nationals who recently traveled to Taiwan from Cambodia, the United States and Indonesia.
Also on Monday, CECC official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said the CECC had found a likely source of infection of an airplane cabin cleaner who was confirmed with the Delta variant of the coronavirus last week.
The genome sequence of the virus the cabin cleaner was infected with is "highly similar" to that of the virus found in a Turkish man who traveled to Taiwan on Sept. 8 and who later tested positive for COVID-19 in quarantine, Lo said.
This indicates that the cabin cleaner was either infected by the virus carried by the Turkish man while she was disinfecting the plane, or that they were both infected by someone else who had also been on the plane, Lo said.
Besides the Turkish man, the 90 passengers on the flight are still in quarantine and none of them have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. There were also 11 crew members on the flight who did not enter Taiwan, Lo said.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 16,147 COVID-19 cases, of which 14,414 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 Monday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in the country remained at 840, with all but 12 recorded since May 15, CECC data showed.
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