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ROC Central News Agency

Taiwan reports 17 COVID-19 cases of BA.4, BA.5 subvariants

ROC Central News Agency

06/17/2022 05:05 PM

Taipei, June 17 (CNA) Taiwan reported 17 COVID-19 infections on Friday from the newest Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 in people arriving from overseas, including the first BA.5 case involving a child, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The 17 people arrived before a shorter quarantine requirement for arrivals -- "3+4" formula -- was implemented on Wednesday and brought the total number of cases infected with the two Omicron subvariants to 48, said Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC's medical response division.

Of the 48 cases detected and intercepted at the border, eight were BA.4 cases, including one new case on Friday, and 40 were BA.5 cases, including 16 additions on that day, Lo told the daily news briefing.

One of the BA.5 cases was a boy under 10 with United States nationality who had traveled from the U.S., becoming the first case of either subvariant involving a child to be detected in Taiwan since Monday, Lo said.

Lo said the boy was unvaccinated and asymptomatic and that his PCR test result had a cycle threshold (CT) value of 27.

The eight BA.4 cases were arrivals from United States, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Chile, according to the CECC.

The 40 BA.5 cases were found among those traveling from the United States, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Poland, Hungary, France, South Africa, and El Salvador, the CECC data showed.

The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were first detected in South Africa in January and February, respectively, and triggered a new wave of COVID-19 infections in the country between April and May, according to the CECC.


The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of June 17, Taiwan recorded 3,162,445 domestic cases in 2022, while the total number of imported cases rose to 13,685 from 2,396 on Jan. 1.

What has been observed about the BA.4 and BA.5 cases intercepted at Taiwan's border is similar to the development seen in many countries where the two Omicron subvariants have simultaneously been in circulation with the BA.5 strain appearing to be more transmissible, Lo said.

There is no evidence of BA.4 and BA.5 being associated with severe infections compared to the circulating BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants, Lo said.

The CECC will closely monitor the cases and continue to boost the vaccination rate as the spread of the two strains has picked up speed in some countries, Lo said.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Wang Shu-fen and Shih Hsiu-chuan)


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