CORONAVIRUS/CECC looking into COVID infection source of Kaohsiung, Taoyuan families

01/20/2022 05:11 PM
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Thursday
Thursday's COVID-19 press briefing. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is looking into how two families who live in Kaohsiung and Taoyuan, respectively, contracted COVID-19, and whether their cases are linked to the larger outbreak of the disease in Taoyuan.

The family in Kaohsiung -- a father, mother, and son -- were among the 13 new domestic cases confirmed Thursday, and they tested positive after the son began showing symptoms of the disease a day earlier, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press briefing Thursday.

The father's job is "related to Kaohsiung Harbor" and he has visited northern Taiwan recently, Chen said, adding that further investigation was needed to determine how the family became infected.

Parents and their children who go to the same kindergarten with a boy confirmed to have COVID-19 in Kaohsiung get on a bus that will take them to quarantine facilities Thursday. CNA photo Jan. 20, 2022
Parents and their children who go to the same kindergarten with a boy confirmed to have COVID-19 in Kaohsiung get on a bus that will take them to quarantine facilities Thursday. CNA photo Jan. 20, 2022

The source of two other infections recorded Thursday -- a mother and daughter who live in Taoyuan's Bade District -- is also unclear, Chen said.

The two were tested for COVID-19 as the mother had recently visited Danan Market, where a vendor was reported positive on Wednesday, Chen said.

A retesting of the vendor's original test sample has returned a negative result, however, and a second test also came back negative, so the CECC has removed her as a COVID-19 case, Chen said.

The CECC will continue to look into how the mother and daughter became infected, he said.

Another of the domestic cases recorded Thursday is the three-year-old son of a nurse who works at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei.

The nurse tested positive on Monday, and another one of her sons tested positive on Wednesday. The source of the family's infection is also unknown, though genome sequencing is ongoing to determine whether it is linked to any of the COVID-19 patients in the hospital, according to Chen.

Domestic cases linked to Taoyuan

The remaining seven domestic cases reported Thursday can be traced back to the larger outbreak of the disease in Taoyuan, Chen said.

The first case in the outbreak, a janitor at Taoyuan International Airport, was reported on Jan. 3. Since then, other airport personnel and their contacts have also tested positive, and the disease has spread into the wider community.

Related clusters have emerged in the Golden Voice (金嗓歌友會) social club, factories, a bank, and most recently, a steakhouse. Over 110 cases have been recorded so far, with over half of those cases confirmed to be the same Omicron variant, CECC data shows.

Tests for variants on the other cases have either not been completed or the viral load was too low to get a result, the CECC said.

Of the 13 new domestic cases confirmed Thursday, six have been classified as breakthrough infections, one has received one Pfizer-BioNTech jab, and three have not received any COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccination status of the remaining three is still under investigation.

Update: Taoyuan, Taipei disclose places visited by COVID-19 patients

Note: One of the 10 cases reported on Jan. 19 was removed retroactively after returning negative tests. The tally does not include four cases reclassified as locally transmitted between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6.
Note: One of the 10 cases reported on Jan. 19 was removed retroactively after returning negative tests. The tally does not include four cases reclassified as locally transmitted between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6.

Imported cases

In addition to the domestic cases, Taiwan also recorded 24 imported cases on Thursday. Of these, 15 tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan on Wednesday, and the other nine were travelers who tested positive during quarantine, according to the CECC.

The CECC did not release any information regarding the vaccination status of the imported cases.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed 18,041 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,749 were domestic infections.

With no deaths reported Thursday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country remained at 851.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

Enditem/ASG

Update

Jan. 22: COVID outbreaks in Taoyuan, Kaohsiung main threats in Taiwan: Minister

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1. More doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in Taiwan than the government has officially received because recipients of the Moderna booster shot are given half the standard dose of the first and second jab. 2. Information about the booster dose and additional dose can be found at https://t.ly/4ZuW
1. More doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in Taiwan than the government has officially received because recipients of the Moderna booster shot are given half the standard dose of the first and second jab. 2. Information about the booster dose and additional dose can be found at https://t.ly/4ZuW
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