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Premier, health minister among first in Taiwan to take AstraZeneca

ROC Central News Agency

03/20/2021 04:41 PM

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) will be among the first recipients of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Taiwan, an official from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

The CECC official, Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), who is also a deputy head of the Centers for Disease Control, made the announcement when reporting on a new imported COVID-19 case during a press conference.

The vaccinations of Su and Chen were suggested by the CECC to boost public confidence in the vaccine, the administering of which will begin on Monday, the health minister said Friday.

Details on when and at which hospital the vaccinations will take place are still being discussed, Lo said.

According to Lo, most of the 44,500 doses -- the first batch from a shipment of 117,000 AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived in Taiwan on March 3 -- have arrived at 56 of 57 designated hospitals.

The offshore Lienchiang County (Matsu) had yet to receive its supply because heavy fog disrupted flights and had hindered delivery as of noon Saturday, he said.

Regarding the new imported COVID-19 case reported that day, Lo said the patient is an Indonesian fisherman in his 20s who traveled to Taiwan with another Indonesian fisherman -- one of six patients reported a day earlier.

Both Indonesians came to Taiwan on March 5 and tested positive at the end of their quarantine period in a government-run facility, and the latest patient has been sent to hospital following his positive result, Lo said

Ten other people who were listed as having had contact with the man tested negative and are undergoing a mandated self-health management period.

The new COVID-19 case pushed the total number in Taiwan to 1,005, 961 of whom have recovered, 10 of whom have died and 34 remain in hospital, according to the CECC's latest statistics.

(By Kay Liu)

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