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Homeland Security

Taiwan reports no new COVID-19 cases for 11th day

ROC Central News Agency

05/18/2020 05:10 PM

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) Taiwan saw another day of no new confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 398 of the total 440 people that contracted the conoravirus during the ongoing pandemic having already been discharged, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Monday.

That means that three more patients have been discharged since Sunday, while the country reported no new cases for the 11th consecutive day, according to CECC data.

Apart from the seven deaths caused by the conoravirus, the remainder are still hospitalized.

At the CECC's daily press briefing on Monday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC set up on Jan. 20, said the conoravirus is not going away, especially since there is no cure or vaccine for the disease.

It is inevitable that the disease will spread, he said, noting that maintaining good personal hygiene and following social distancing protocols are key to preventing the spread from becoming cluster infections in communities.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 late last year, 349 of the 440 reported local cases have been classified as imported and 55 have been local infections, according to CECC statistics.

The other 36 cases are a cluster infection on a Navy vessel that returned April 9 from a Pacific goodwill mission. Those cases have not yet been classified by the CEEC as either local or imported.

At the Monday's briefing, the CECC confirmed that researchers at Stanford University in the United States have approached Taiwan with a proposed study regarding measures that can be put in place when border controls due to COVID-19 can be relaxed.

Currently, Taiwan bans entry of foreign nationals with few exceptions, such as diplomats, while all arrivals are subject to 14-day quarantine at government facilities if they show symptoms at the entry point, or home isolation for the same period of time if they do not.

Taiwan is still considering what is the most efficient and scientifically sound way of reopening its border, as well as shortening the quarantine or isolation period, Chen said.

He expressed optimism about possible research cooperation and said he hopes that if such a study can come up with good results, they can be used as a model for other countries in similar situations.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 4,749,813 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,509,561 in the U.S., 281,752 in Russia, 243,303 in the United Kingdom, 231,350 in Spain and 225,435 in Italy, with a total of 314,921 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Monday.

(By Kay Liu)

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