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Homeland Security

Taiwan records two new COVID-19 cases

ROC Central News Agency

12/18/2020 05:45 PM

Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) Two people who returned to Taiwan from the United States have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country since the start of the pandemic to 759, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Friday.

The two individuals, both female, presented proof of a negative COVID-19 test issued within three days of their departures as required, the center said in a press release.

One of the two arrivals is a Taiwanese woman in her 50s who arrived on Dec. 2 and was tested for COVID-19 by local health authorities on Thursday after her male travel companion tested positive for the virus the previous day. The woman's results came back positive on Friday, the CECC said.

The second case involves a Taiwanese pilot who went to the U.S. on Dec. 12 and arrived back in Taiwan on Wednesday, the center said. On that same day, the pilot, in her 30s, was tested by local health authorities because she had developed symptoms since her arrival. The result also came back positive Friday, according to the center.

Although the pilot tested positive following her trip from the U.S., efforts were being made to determine where she caught the virus, as the possibility that she may have been infected during her flights, in the U.S. or Taiwan could not be ruled out, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing Friday.

Among nine other colleagues the pilot travelled with, one individual experienced a cough and did not wear a surgical mask while in flight, the CECC said, citing its contact tracing result.

While the health authorities continue with its contact tracing investigation, the nine individuals will be tested and required to participate in further contact tracing, the center said.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 759 cases of COVID-19, mostly classified as imported. Of the total, 619 have recovered, seven have died and 133 are in hospital, CECC data shows.

As the pandemic continues, COVID-19 has infected over 74 million people in 191 countries and regions, with more than 1.66 million fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Friday.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Chung Yu-chen)

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