CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 11 new domestic COVID-19 cases, all linked to Taoyuan
Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday reported 11 new locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, all linked to existing cases recorded in Taoyuan since Jan. 3, as well as 57 imported cases, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
New domestic cases
The 11 new domestic cases include eight males and three females, with two of them children under the age of 5, according to the CECC.
Two involved a man and his mother, who is friends with a member of the Golden Voice social club in Taoyuan confirmed with COVID-19 on Jan. 7, the CECC said.
The mother was already in quarantine because of the spread of the disease in the social club, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) during the CECC's press briefing on Friday.
The new cases also include a man in his 30s, who is the husband of a worker at a factory in Taoyuan where five cases have been confirmed. He tested positive after being placed in quarantine, with two family members confirmed as having COVID-19 on Thursday, Chen said.
The remaining eight new local cases tested positive for COVID-19 after they were listed as close contacts of 13 infected employees of Union Bank of Taiwan branch in Taoyuan's Zhongli District, according to the CECC.
Among the eight, two are family members of bank employees who are in quarantine, one is a bank's employee's friend, while three are individuals who work at a steak house and two young children who ate there around the same time as several infected bank employees, the CECC said.
Five of the 11 new domestic cases were classified as breakthrough infections, one had one dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, three are unvaccinated, including the two young children not eligible for the vaccine, while the vaccination status of two individuals was still being looked into, according to the CECC.
Different Omicron variant
Meanwhile, the latest genome sequencing results show a nurse working at the COVID ward in Taipei City Hospital's Renai Branch, who was confirmed as having COVID-19 late Wednesday, was infected with a different Omicron variant from other domestic cases this year.
Chen said the four different types of Omicron variant found in 39 domestic cases showed there are four chains of the disease spreading in Taiwan.
During the first 14 days of 2022, Taiwan has recorded a total of 72 domestic cases, all but six linked to Taoyuan International Airport.
Chen remained confident that the current wave of infections can be contained, and said the CECC is not considering a ban on banquets held by companies for employees before the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins in late January.
New imported cases
In addition to the new domestic cases, the CECC reported 57 imported cases on Friday among people who entered Taiwan between Dec. 31 and Jan. 13, including 28 passengers who arrived on long haul flights in the country Thursday and tested positive at the airport, Chen said.
The other 29 had a positive test when undergoing quarantine, he added, without giving information about whether they were in home quarantine, government quarantine facilities or quarantine hotels.
The CECC did not provide information on the vaccination status of the new imported cases.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed 17,692 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,676 are domestic infections. The country has recorded 851 deaths related to COVID-19, with the most recent fatality reported on Thursday.
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