CORONAVIRUS/All new domestic COVID-19 cases tested positive in quarantine: CECC

02/22/2022 05:38 PM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (second right) hosts Tuesday
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (second right) hosts Tuesday's COVID-19 press briefing, along with Centers for Disease Control Director-General Chou Jih-haw (second left) and his two deputies Chuang Jen-hsiang (right) and Lo Yi-chun. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) The five new domestic COVID-19 cases recorded in Taiwan Tuesday all tested positive during quarantine, and are related to previously reported clusters of unknown origin, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Tuesday's new cases

Four of the five are linked to a cluster in which the first reported case was an interior designer in New Taipei, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at the CECC's daily press briefing.

The total number of cases in the cluster now totals 42, with the majority being members of a religious group who dined together at a restaurant in Taipei on Feb. 13, according to the CECC.

The remaining domestic case is linked to a cluster in which the first reported cases were from a family in Kaohsiung. The cluster also includes three employees at the Dalin Refinery Plant in the southern city and totals 13 cases to date, Chen said.

Four of the new domestic cases had received two COVID-19 vaccine shots, and the fifth was unvaccinated, according to the CECC.

Quarantine hotel nurse's different Omicron variant

Also on Tuesday, CECC official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said that a nurse who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday had been confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant, though the genome sequence differed from all the other domestic cases that Taiwan had recorded.

The nurse works at a quarantine hotel in New Taipei that has been housing people with asymptomatic and mild infections who had tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan, Lo said.

The CECC will conduct genome sequencing on samples from the patients she had recently been in contact with to determine the source of her infection, Lo said.

Currently, there are seven clusters or individual cases with unknown origins in Taiwan that the CECC is monitoring, Lo said.

Genome sequencing has been performed on samples from patients in all seven, which show they were infected with three different versions of the Omicron variant, according to CECC data.

The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of Feb. 22, Taiwan recorded 787 domestic and 2,279 imported COVID-19 cases in 2022.
The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of Feb. 22, Taiwan recorded 787 domestic and 2,279 imported COVID-19 cases in 2022.

Imported cases

In addition to the domestic cases, Taiwan also reported 39 imported cases on Tuesday, nine of whom tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan. The CECC did not release any information regarding the vaccination status of the imported cases.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed 20,100 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, including 15,392 domestically transmitted infections.

With no deaths reported Tuesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in the country remained at 852.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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