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Eleven-year-old boy confirmed as Taiwan's 31st COVID-19 case: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

02/25/2020 05:48 PM

Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) An 11-year-old boy has been confirmed as Taiwan's 31st case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, part of a family cluster also responsible for cases 27-30, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

At a press conference, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the boy had visited his grandfather in the hospital on Feb. 11 and 19 before the latter's diagnosis Sunday as Taiwan's 27th confirmed COVID-19 case.

Although the boy has no symptoms, he was tested for the virus Sunday following his grandfather's diagnosis, and is now under medical quarantine, Chen said.

According to the timeline provided by the CECC, the octogenarian grandfather, as well as his eldest son, who is in his 50s, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, becoming the country's 27th and 28th cases respectively.

On Monday, the man's younger son and wife both tested positive for the virus, becoming the 29th and 30th cases, while the child of the elder son was confirmed as the 31st case on Tuesday, the CECC said.

At the press conference, Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the deputy director of Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said the boy was tested before students returned to classes from winter vacation on Tuesday, and there is therefore no risk of him having infected his classmates.

However, the boy did attend cram school during winter vacation, and the CECC is currently working to determine who he came in contact with, Chuang said.

If the CECC finds it necessary, the classes he attended will be suspended, and the students placed under home quarantine, Chuang added.

Meanwhile, CDC Director General Chou Chih-hao (周志浩) said although the boy is Taiwan's youngest COVID-19 case to date, the proportion of children being infected with the virus overall appears "extremely low."

As of Tuesday, the CECC has identified 580 people who came into contact with the family at the center of the virus cluster.

From this group, 144 have been tested, of whom four have tested positive (cases 28-31), 122 have tested negative and the remaining 18 are still waiting for results, the CECC said.

According to the CECC, of Taiwan's 31 confirmed COVID-19 cases, one person has died and five have been released from the hospital, while the remaining 25 are under medical quarantine.

Two of the cases -- the 24th and the 27th, involving a woman in her 60s and the aforementioned man in his 80s -- are suffering from serious symptoms of the virus, the CECC said.

These two cases are also the only ones in which the source of infection has yet to be identified, as neither person has a recent history of travel abroad or had close contact with a confirmed case of the virus, the CECC said.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Matthew Mazzetta)


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