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4 new imported COVID-19 cases in Taiwan; total rises to 1,054

ROC Central News Agency

04/09/2021 06:40 PM

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) Taiwan on Friday confirmed four new imported cases of COVID-19 -- from Italy, the Philippines and the United Kingdom -- bringing the total number of cases in the country to date to 1,054, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

One of the new cases involved a Taiwanese national in her 50s who permanently resides in Italy, but has been in Taiwan since Dec. 27. After running a fever for days, she sought care at a local hospital and was tested for COVID-19 on April 6.

She was admitted to the hospital that same day. The next day, she experienced shortness of breath and was transferred to a negative-pressure isolation ward for treatment.

The results of the patient's COVID-19 tests came back positive Friday, but the CECC is describing it as an imported case because her CT value of 34 and positive test for antibodies suggest she had the virus a while ago.

CT values can give some indication of the viral load in the patient. In most cases, the higher the CT value, the lower the viral loads (especially as the CT value reaches the mid or high 30s), which could reflect the existence of remnants of the virus in the system, called viral debris, that are generally not infectious.

CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said the woman sought care for a cough with phlegm while in Italy in November 2020 and tested positive for COVID-19 at the time.

She later tested negative on Dec. 21 and Dec. 25 before coming to Taiwan, Chuang said.

Three people who have come in contact with her in Taiwan have been identified, and none have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms to date, Chuang said.

They have been asked to follow self-health management protocols, he said.

The second and third cases reported Friday involved two migrant workers in their 20s from the Philippines, one female and one male, according to the CECC.

The Filipina flew to Taiwan on March 5 with proof of negative test results for COVID-19 within three days of her flight. She was quarantined at a government-run facility and tested again on March 18 at the end of the quarantine, with the results coming back negative.

As required for work, she got another test at a hospital on April 7 at her own expense and the results came back positive with a CT value of 32.

The Filipino arrived in Taiwan with proof of negative test results on March 17, and when he was tested again at the end of the 14-day mandatory quarantine at a government-run facility on March 30, the results were negative.

The man then took a self-paid test at a hospital as required for work, and the results came back positive Friday with a CT value of 35 on the first sample and 37 on the second.

The fourth case was a Taiwanese in his 30s who has been in the U.K. for work since January 2020 until returning to Taiwan on March 26, 2021, according to the CECC.

The man began to cough and have a fever in late November that year, and sought medical treatment at a local hospital in the U.K. where he tested positive for COVID-19.

On March 26, he returned to Taiwan with proof of negative test results within three days of his flight, and was placed in a government-run quarantine center. He was tested again on the second day of his arrival as required and the result came back negative.

However, he tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of the quarantine on April 8, Chuang said.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 1,054 cases of COVID-19, 938 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 1,018 patients have recovered, 10 have died, and 26 are in the hospital, according to CECC statistics as of Tuesday.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 133.6 million people in 193 countries and regions, with more than 2.9 million fatalities, CECC data shows.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)


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