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Homeland Security

Taiwan adds 20 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total to 215

ROC Central News Agency

03/24/2020 04:27 PM

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) Twenty new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were confirmed in Taiwan Tuesday, bringing the total to 215 since the pandemic began, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said that day.

All were imported cases, with the ages of those infected ranging between a 5-year-old and a patient in their 60s, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.

Among the 20, seven were male and 13 female. They all entered Taiwan from overseas between March 13 and March 22 and began showing symptoms between March 9 and March 23, Chen said.

The various countries they visited included the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Indonesia, Spain, France, the United States, Thailand, Germany, Bulgaria and Belgium.

Eight of the 20 cases were stopped at the airport because they showed symptoms, nine were put under quarantine, two visited doctors with symptoms, while one was under home isolation, Chen said.

According to CECC data, a Taiwanese couple identified as cases No. 197 and No. 202 traveled to the U.S. from March 8-18 to visit family. They started showing symptoms a day after returning to Taiwan, and were confirmed with COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Also among the newly confirmed cases was the 15th and latest case of a cluster infection involving a Taiwanese tour group that had traveled to Turkey, the CECC said.

Case No. 213, a Taiwanese male who studies in Italy, boarded the same plane as the tour group when returning to Taiwan March 13, began showing symptoms two days later, and was confirmed with COVID-19 on Tuesday, the CECC said.

The remaining 17 were all individual cases, including a 5-year-old girl who contracted the disease when accompanying her mother on a company trip to Turkey, the CECC said.

Of the 27 people on the same trip, only the girl has been confirmed with COVID-19, while the rest have either tested negative or have not shown symptoms, the CECC said.

The new cases also include two foreign nationals, a U.S. man in his 50s and an Indonesian migrant worker in his 40s, according to the CECC.

The U.S. national traveled to Germany and Bulgaria on March 7, then headed to Thailand on March 11 and arrived in Taiwan for a transit flight on March 20, the CECC said.

The man, however, was already feeling poorly on his flight to Taiwan, and was deemed too ill to continue his travel upon arrival. He was sent to a negative pressure isolation room for testing that day and was confirmed with COVID-19 on Tuesday, the CECC said.

The Indonesian migrant worker was stopped at the airport upon arrival on March 22 due to a fever, and was confirmed to have the disease on Tuesday as well, the CECC said.

As of Tuesday, 178 of Taiwan's 215 cases had been classified as imported, while the remaining 37 are believed to have contracted the disease locally, the CECC said.

Twenty-nine of the cases have been released from quarantine, while two patients have died. The others are still in negative pressure rooms in hospitals but are all in relatively stable condition, according to the CECC.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 366,929 patients in 172 countries and regions, including 81,171 in China, 63,927 in Italy and 41,708 in the U.S, with 16,272 fatalities to date, the CECC said.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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