CORONAVIRUS/COVID outbreaks in Taoyuan, Kaohsiung main threats in Taiwan: Minister

01/22/2022 09:23 PM
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Front row, front left: Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun, Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai and Deputy of the Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi. Photo courtesy of the CECC
Front row, front left: Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun, Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai and Deputy of the Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) Taiwan reported 82 domestic COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest number in a single day in 2022, with most of them linked to outbreaks in Taoyuan and Kaohsiung, which Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said are the main threats as the disease spreads in the nation.

New cases in Taoyuan

Of the 82 newly confirmed locally transmitted cases, 63 are current employees and one is a former worker at Askey Computer Corp.'s factory in the Farglory Free Trade Zone (FTZ) near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Chen said during the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) daily press briefing on Saturday.

The total number of confirmed cases linked to the factory rose from six on Friday afternoon to 70 on Saturday, after 1,005 people were tested because two workers there were believed to have been infected when they had a meal at the same time as other confirmed cases at a Tasty restaurant in Taoyuan on Jan. 9, according to Chen.

More than 6,400 people have been placed under quarantine as a result, while 2,000 in the Farglory FTZ are to be tested so the CECC can better understand the spread of the disease in the industrial park, Chen said.

Meanwhile, the operations of 30 companies, including Askey, in the Farglory FTZ have been suspended, according to CECC official Victor Wang (王必勝), who is there overseeing the outbreak that started in the airport in Taoyuan, where the first domestic case was reported on Jan. 3.

In addition, because some employees at Askey's factory in Taoyuan had also worked in the company's factory in New Taipei's Zhonghe District, further testing will be carried out, with over 60 people having been listed as contacts of the confirmed cases.

Of the 70 cases from Askey, seven are Taiwanese, while the other 63 are migrant workers from the Philippines, according to the CECC.

Update: Labor ministry to assist with COVID-19 testing of migrant workers

Officials inspect a testing site set up at Kaohsiung Harbor Saturday. Photo courtesy of Taiwan International Ports Corp.
Officials inspect a testing site set up at Kaohsiung Harbor Saturday. Photo courtesy of Taiwan International Ports Corp.

Outbreak in Kaohsiung

Also on Saturday, 14 of the new domestic cases were linked to people working at the Kaohsiung Harbor and their contacts, bringing the total of these connected infections to 27 since a family of three in the southern port city was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Thursday, Chen said.

Six of the 14 cases were confirmed after 2,152 people took a COVID-19 test at a testing site set up at the harbor, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) told reporters in a separate press briefing in the southern city.

The 14 cases also included a woman in Taipei and her son. Both tested positive after he traveled back home from Kaohsiung, according to the health minister.

Genome sequencing results showed the three members of the family who were the first in Kaohsiung to be confirmed to have COVID-19 all contracted the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. but its strain is different than the one identified in Taoyuan, according to the CECC.

Health authorities are still investigating another case in Kaohsiung, which involves a woman in her 40s, who tested positive after she went to see a doctor because she had developed symptoms, the CECC said.

The port authorities in Kaohsiung have been tasked with testing nearly 20,000 people who work or frequently go to the harbor area, while testing sites will be established in local communities, the health minister said.

The graphic does not include four cases reclassified as domestic in early January, while six cases have been retroactively removed.
The graphic does not include four cases reclassified as domestic in early January, while six cases have been retroactively removed.

Other cases

The remaining three cases include a woman in her 20s, who tested positive on Friday after she went to see a doctor. The source of her infection was being investigated, the CECC said.

Another case is the husband of a nurse working at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei, who was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on Jan. 17, along with their two children in recent days.

Genome sequencing results showed she had the same Omicron variant of the virus found in a patient treated at the hospital, according to the CECC.

The third case is a woman in her 60s, who tested positive during her quarantine after she was listed as a contact of a confirmed case in the wider outbreak in Taoyuan.

Update: Employee at Grand Hotel in Taipei tests positive for COVID-19

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

Imported cases

In addition to the new domestic cases, the CECC also recorded 48 new imported cases, half of which are passengers who tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan Friday, while the others entered Taiwan as early as Dec. 31.

Of the new imported cases, 29 are male and 19 are female, and most of them -- 31 -- are Taiwanese nationals, according to the CECC, which did not provide their vaccination status.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed 18,238 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,853 were domestic infections.

With no deaths reported on Saturday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country remained at 851. The most recent fatality linked to the disease was reported on Jan. 13.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chinag Hui-chu, Yeh-chen, Tseng Yi-ning and Kay Liu)

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> Chinese Version

Update

Jan. 23: COVID cluster at Taoyuan Farglory Free Trade Zone climbs to 100 cases

Jan. 23: Kaohsiung suspends visits to care facilities due to COVID outbreak

Related News

Jan. 22: Taiwan to ban food on public transport, halts large religious events

Jan. 22: Local governments make public COVID-19 cases' footprints

Recent cases

Jan. 22: Taoyuan confirms a total of 70 COVID-19 cases at tech factory

Jan. 21: Local COVID-19 cases surge to new high in latest outbreak

Jan. 20: Taiwan reports 37 new COVID-19 cases, including 13 domestic

Jan. 19: Taiwan reports 54 new COVID-19 cases, including 10 domestic

Jan. 18: Taiwan reports 17 local COVID-19 cases, with source of five unknown

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