CORONAVIRUS/Five of 13 new domestic COVID-19 cases of unknown source: CECC

01/25/2022 04:56 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung uses charts to explains some of the new cases
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung uses charts to explains some of the new cases' connections to outbreaks in Taoyuan and Kaohsiung. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, Jan. 25 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday reported 13 new domestic cases of COVID-19, of which five have unknown sources of infection, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Infections of unknown origin

Three of the infections of unknown origin were reported in Taoyuan, and consist of two siblings, both under 10 years old, and a man in his 50s who lives in the city's Longtan District, but recently visited Hsinchu County and Taipei, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press briefing.

They all tested positive after displaying symptoms of the disease, and the CECC is still looking into how they became infected, Chen said.

One new case reported in New Taipei and one in Yilan County were linked to two clusters of unknown origin -- a family in Taipei and a hotel in Yilan's Jiaoxi District, bringing the number of cases in these two clusters to five and six, respectively.

The CECC has not yet determined how these individuals contracted COVID-19, Chen said.

Kaohsiung Port culster

Among the eight other domestic cases reported Tuesday, four are linked to a cluster at the Port of Kaohsiung, Chen said.

The total number of cases in the cluster now stands at 52, Chen added, as the CECC has removed three cases originally linked to the cluster after re-tests of the original test samples returned negative results.

Kaohsiung health authorities previously speculated that the cluster could have begun with a maintenance worker at the port who came into contact with people on board a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel, though this has not yet been confirmed.

Three people in the Kaohsiung cluster have been confirmed as Omicron variant infections, though the genome sequence differs from the version circulating in the outbreak in Taoyuan, which confirmed three new cases on Tuesday.

The figures do not include four cases reclassified as domestic in early January, nor retroactively removed cases. The number of locally transmitted infections recorded in 2022 totaled 328 as of Jan. 25.
The figures do not include four cases reclassified as domestic in early January, nor retroactively removed cases. The number of locally transmitted infections recorded in 2022 totaled 328 as of Jan. 25.

Outbreak in Taoyuan

The outbreak originated at Taoyuan International Airport in early January, and related clusters have sprung up at a social club, factories, a bank, a Tasty steakhouse, and most recently in Farglory Free Trade Zone, where 102 people have tested positive so far with testing ongoing.

The remaining domestic case is a woman in Tainan who contracted the disease after taking care of her grandchild, who tested positive after returning from overseas, Chen said.

According to the CECC, eight of the new domestic cases were classified as breakthrough infections.

Of the other individuals with domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections, one received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, three had not been vaccinated, and the vaccination status of one case is still under investigation.

Imported cases

In addition to the domestic cases, Taiwan also recorded 25 imported cases on Tuesday. Of these, 12 tested positive upon arrival in the country on Monday, and the other 13 tested positive during quarantine.

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

To date, Taiwan has confirmed 18,411 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,928 were domestic infections.

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

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

Enditem/AW

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