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Homeland Security

Delta variant identified in seven more imported COVID-19 cases

ROC Central News Agency

07/30/2021 07:40 PM

Taipei, July 30 (CNA) The more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus was recently identified in seven COVID-19 patients who entered Taiwan in July, a health official said Friday.

Genome sequencing of the coronavirus successfully done in eight people who contracted the disease abroad found that seven had the Delta variant and one the Alpha variant, said Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), a deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control, at the daily government COVID-19 press briefing.

The results reflected the threat posed by the Delta variant, which is behind the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in several countries, and the need to maintain strict border controls, Lo said.

Taiwan currently only allows entry of citizens and foreign nationals who hold a valid Alien Resident Certificate or obtain a special entry permission.

All arrivals, regardless of nationality, are required to go through a 14-day quarantine at government facilities or quarantine hotels and take multiple COVID-19 tests.

According to Lo, the eight patients entered Taiwan between July 8 and July 20 and comprise five Taiwanese, two Myanmar nationals and one Indonesian.

The one patient who contracted the Alpha variant was a Taiwanese boy who traveled back from China on July 8, Lo said.

Among the seven imported cases involving the Delta variant, one was a Taiwanese man in his 40s, who returned from the United States and tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival on July 18, Lo said.

The man had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in June, the second one coming on June 30, Lo said.

The two Myanmar nationals and one Indonesian were found along with one of the five Taiwanese -- a skipper of a fishing ship -- on a vessel off the coast of Tainan on July 20.

There were three other people on board who also tested positive for COVID-19, but genome sequencing was unsuccessful, Lo said.

The other two Taiwanese are a boy and a man in his 20s, who returned from Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates, respectively, according to Lo.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 42 people infected with the Delta variant -- 30 who contracted the disease overseas and 12 who contracted the virus locally -- according to Central Epidemic Command Center data.

The 12 local cases were all part of a cluster of infections in Pingtung County, which were linked to two imported cases of a Taiwanese woman and her grandson, who returned from Peru in early June.

(By Chiang Hui-chun, Chang Ming-hsaun and Kay Liu)

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