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Homeland Security

Taiwan adds 10 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total to 339

ROC Central News Agency

04/02/2020 05:11 PM

Taipei, April 2 (CNA) Ten new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease were confirmed in Taiwan Thursday, bringing the total in the country to 339 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The newly confirmed patients are all Taiwanese nationals, eight of whom contracted the disease overseas and two who were infected locally, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.

One of the local infections, a man in his 50s, likely contracted COVID-19 from case No. 291, a Taiwanese man who went on vacation to Indonesia and tested positive for the disease on March 29, according to the CECC.

The man, who began showing symptoms on March 23 and made several trips to the doctor's, visited the doctor again on March 31 after finding out about case No. 291's diagnosis. He was sent to a negative pressure isolation room for testing that day and was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on Thursday, the CECC said.

The other local infection is a woman in her 50s with no recent travel history, and the CECC is still investigating how she became infected, it said.

She developed a sore throat, runny nose and a cough in mid-March, and visited a doctor a week later when she also developed a fever. She was hospitalized on March 30 with signs of pneumonia, and was confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 on Thursday, the CECC said.

According to the CECC, the woman worked as a security guard at an apartment complex, which the CECC disinfected Thursday.

The CECC has also instructed a member of the residents' committee to inform the people living there of the situation, and said they will investigate with whom the woman came into contact at work.

The eight imported cases returned to Taiwan from March 6 to March 31 and began showing symptoms between March 14-30, the CECC said.

One of the cases is a woman in her 60s, who had traveled to Denmark to visit family with her husband. She complained of a sore throat, headache, and muscle pain a few days after returning, but tested negative for COVID-19 on March 20, the CECC said.

However, she was retested on March 30 because her symptoms had not abated and she had developed a fever. The results this time came back positive, the CECC said.

Her husband, meanwhile, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 22, according to CECC data.

Also among the new cases are three people who traveled in tour groups, one to South America, another to the United States, and the other to Europe.

One of them is a man in his 60s who participated in a month-long group tour to South America that took him through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil, the CECC said.

He was tested for COVID-19 on March 30 because another member of his group had already been diagnosed with the disease, the CECC said.

Another case is a woman in her 30s who studied in Canada for two months earlier this year, traveled with nine others to the U.S. in March, and began showing symptoms of COVID-19 on March 30, the CECC said.

Five of the 10 people in her group have been confirmed to have the coronavirus disease, the CECC said.

The remaining case, a man in his 60s, traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic with his family, and is the fifth person in his tour group to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the CECC said.

The other four newly confirmed cases Thursday were all individual cases who had traveled to the U.S., the United Kingdom and Indonesia before returning to Taiwan, according to the CECC.

As of Thursday, 291 of Taiwan's 339 cases had been classified as imported, while the other 48 are believed to be local infections, the CECC said.

Meanwhile, five more of Taiwan's COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been released from quarantine, bringing the total to 50, while five have died. The others are still in negative pressure rooms in hospitals, the CECC said.

As for the 367 Taiwanese who recently returned from the Chinese province of Hubei -- the China epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic -- the CECC said that one has been sent to a hospital due to fever, while the rest are all in good health and still staying in designated quarantine facilities.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 912,276 patients in 180 countries and regions, with 45,958 fatalities to date, the CECC said.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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