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Taiwan confirms 10 new cases of COVID-19, total at 373 (update)

ROC Central News Agency

04/06/2020 04:31 PM

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Ten new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease were confirmed in Taiwan on Monday, bringing the total in the country to 373 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Nine of the newly confirmed patients, who were all Taiwanese nationals, contracted the disease overseas, while one is believed to have been infected locally, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.

The locally contracted case is a 4-year-old boy, who most likely was infected by his grandparents, according to Chen.

The boy's pre-school has stopped classes for two weeks, Chen said.

The boy lived with his grandparents and started to develop a fever on March 25, CECC records showed.

The child's grandmother, a Taiwanese woman in her 60s with no recent history of overseas travel, was confirmed Friday to be infected with COVID-19 after she came down with body aches, a cough and a runny nose on April 1, according to the CECC.

The woman likely contracted the disease from her husband, who was in the United States from Feb. 23 to March 17 on a business trip, CECC records show.

The husband, a Taiwanese man in his 60s, was asymptomatic but was tested and confirmed Sunday to be infected with the coronavirus as part of the contact tracing process after his wife developed the disease, according to the CECC.

Of the imported infections, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 20s studied at the same educational institution in the United Kingdom between Nov. 8 and April 2, the CECC said.

The woman developed a cough and lost her sense of smell on April 2, while the man developed a sore throat starting on March 27, the CECC said.

Another cluster case involved relatives -- a man and a woman in their 30s -- who traveled to the U.K. and Iceland together from March 6 to 21, the CECC said.

The man developed a runny and blocked nose and abnormal taste and smell on April 1, while the woman developed similar symptoms, including losing her sense of smell, the CECC said.

Meanwhile, a woman in her 30s who went on a work trip to the U.S. between Jan. 14 and March 30 started coughing and experiencing breathing difficulties, muscle aches, and a fever on March 10, the CECC said.

The woman's test results showed she was negative after she was tested upon arrival in Taiwan, the CECC said.

She was ordered to take another test on April 4, however, because her symptoms did not improve and she was on the same flight to Taiwan with eight other patients who were all confirmed as having the new coronavirus, the CECC said.

Another cluster case involved two men in their 20s flying home on the same flight after working and studying in the U.S., the CECC said.

One of the men was in the U.S. from Sept. 1, 2019 to March 30 and lost his sense of smell on April 4, while the other man was in the U.S. between Jan. 20 and March 30, and developed a sore throat and lost his sense of smell on April 2, the CECC said.

The remaining cases were that of a woman in her 20s, who was studying in the U.K. between Sept. 3 and April 4 and developed symptoms of a sore throat on March 27, and a man in is 40s, who worked in Indonesia from Feb. 23 to April 4 and developed a fever on March 23, the CECC said.

To date, 321 of Taiwan's 373 cases have been classified as imported, while the other 52 are believed to be local infections, according to CECC statistics.

Fifty-seven of Taiwan's COVID-19 patients have been released from quarantine, while five have died. The others are still being quarantined and observed in hospitals, the CECC said.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 1,231,490 patients in 182 countries and regions, including 331,234 in the U.S., 130,759 in Spain, 128,948 in Italy, 91,714 in Germany, and 81,708 in China, with a total of 68,630 fatalities, according to the CECC statistics valid as of Monday.

(By William Yen)

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