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Homeland Security

Taiwan records second COVID-19 death

ROC Central News Agency

03/20/2020 09:53 PM

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Taiwan confirmed a second death from COVID-19 Friday, after an elderly man died from complications caused by the coronavirus disease.

The man in his 80s, who had no recent history of overseas travel, died as a result of septic shock brought on by the virus, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced.

The man from northern Taiwan, identified as Taiwan's 27th COVID-19 patient, suffered from hyper tension, diabetes and was on kidney dialysis. He developed a cough and runny nose on Feb. 6 and was admitted to hospital on Feb. 9 after exhibiting pneumonia symptoms, according to the CECC.

On Feb. 16, the patient began to have difficulty breathing and was transferred to a negative pressure isolation room on Feb. 20 with doctors suspecting he had contracted tuberculosis, it said.

He had a test for the COVID-19 virus on Feb. 21, and was confirmed as having contracted the virus two days later, the CECC said.

The man was later determined to be the source of a cluster of infections in his family, spreading the virus to his wife, grandchild, two sons and a foreign caregiver.

Hospitalized for more than a month, the patient was on a respirator and treated with quinine and medicines used for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, the CECC said.

As his condition continued to deteriorate, he developed septic shock brought on by the virus March 17 and died Friday morning.

As of Friday, Taiwan had confirmed 135 cases of the coronavirus disease -- 102 imported and 33 locally acquired -- with two fatalities, according to the CECC.

At the same time, 28 patients have been released from quarantine, while the remaining patients are in stable condition, except for two who remain on respirators in intensive care units, it said.

One of the two is case 34, the first patient identified in a cluster of nine infections that occurred in late February in a northern Taiwan hospital.

Commenting on the cluster, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung ((陳時中) said on Friday that there have been no new related infections, with the last person confirmed to have come into contact with those infected released from quarantine on March 17.

"It seems we have succeeded in stemming a further spread of the virus at the facility," Chen said.

(By Flor Wang, Chang Ming-hsuan and Wu Hsin-yun)


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