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Taiwan reports nine new COVID-19 cases, mulls Level 2 alert extension

ROC Central News Agency

08/15/2021 07:35 PM

Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Sunday said that Taiwan recorded nine new cases of COVID-19, and that it was likely the nationwide Level 2 COVID-19 alert would be extended after it expires on Aug. 23.

Of the new cases, two were domestically transmitted and seven contracted overseas, according to the CECC.

The two domestic cases, one recorded in Taipei and the other in New Taipei, both had relatively high CT levels, indicating they were infected a while ago, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing.

The health authorities are looking into their sources of infection, he added.


Meanwhile, the seven imported cases involved five Taiwanese nationals, a South African national and a Lithuanian national who recently traveled to Taiwan from the United States, South Korea, Poland, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Lithuania.

Commenting on the COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that the number of domestic cases has steadily declined over the past three weeks, from an average of 20 cases per day in late July to fewer than 10 over the past week.

With the exception of Aug. 11, when the country recorded 12 new domestic cases, the number of cases has remained in the single digits for the past week, and the CECC is optimistic that the situation will remain under control, Chen said.

However, the nationwide Level 2 COVID-19 alert is likely to be extended when it expires on Aug. 23, though more restrictions could be lifted, Chen said.

The CECC first raised the COVID-19 alert to Level 2, the third-highest level on its four-tier scale, on May 11, when officials announced that Taiwan had entered the community transmission stage of COVID-19.

The alert was raised to Level 3 on May 19, after the country saw a surge in domestic cases. It was only lowered back to Level 2 on July 27 with an initial expiration date of Aug. 9, but was then extended to Aug. 23.

As case numbers have fallen from their peak in late May, the CECC has gradually eased restrictions on indoor dining, the number of people allowed at gatherings, and the opening of entertainment and sports venues.

Currently, some entertainment venues are still barred from reopening, including bars, clubs, karaoke boxes and arcades.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 15,852 COVID-19 cases, of which 14,305 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 COVID-19 cases in a single day.

With no new deaths reported Sunday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country remains at 821, with all but 12 recorded since May 15, CECC data showed.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)



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