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CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 12,212 new COVID cases; isolation rules to ease

03/01/2023 05:59 PM
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A tram arrives at an Ankeng Light Rail stop during the four-day holiday to mark 228 Peace Memorial Day. CNA photo March 1, 2023
A tram arrives at an Ankeng Light Rail stop during the four-day holiday to mark 228 Peace Memorial Day. CNA photo March 1, 2023

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported 12,212 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths from the disease on Wednesday, and said it is monitoring the disease's spread to assess whether quarantine rules should be eased further.

Among the new cases, 11,995 were contracted domestically, which represented a 25.7-percent drop from the same day a week earlier, CECC data showed.

The number of new cases may have been lower than expected because some hospitals and clinics were closed during the four-day public holiday for 228 Peace Memorial Day that ended Tuesday, CECC spokesperson Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) told reporters.

The CECC will see how the 228 holiday affected the COVID situation in Taiwan and how the planned relaxation of mask mandates in schools on March 6 works to determine whether the current five-day home isolation for individuals who have mild infections can be scrapped, Lo said.

If the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan remains stable, Lo said the mandatory home isolation period could be removed as soon as at the end of March.

Taiwan last revised the quarantine rules for infected individuals who show no symptoms or have mild symptoms on Nov. 14, 2022, cutting the time of home isolation from seven to five days.

According to the most recent CECC data released on Feb. 23, 99.52 percent of the infections recorded up to the previous day involved people who experienced no symptoms or displayed mild symptoms, while 0.48 percent required closer medical care or hospitalization.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 10,055,439 COVID-19 infections and 17,975 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began in early 2020.

The CECC announced on Feb. 23 that it would stop releasing detailed daily information on new COVID-19 cases and on the deceased. It will provide weekly statistics at the press briefing scheduled on Thursdays.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Kay Liu)


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