Despite fluctuating COVID-19 case numbers over the past few days, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that the situation was developing in a positive direction, as it reported 29 local infections, three imported cases and four deaths.
Among the local cases, 14 were reported in Taipei, 11 in New Taipei City, two in Taoyuan, and one each in Yilan and Changhua counties, CECC data showed.
Twenty-one of the local cases had known sources of infection, the center said.
Yesterday’s case number was slightly higher than on Thursday, and there is a need for more precise investigation of confirmed cases’ contact history, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei.
The four people who died are all men, aged from their 60s to 90s, the center said, adding that they died between Friday last week and Wednesday.
They all had histories of chronic disease, it said.
Photo courtesy of the Central Epidemic Command Center
One of them, a man in his 70s, was discharged from hospital on June 25, and died on Friday last week from a cause unrelated to COVID-19, the center said, without elaborating.
With regard to the international pandemic situation, Chen said that the center would add Myanmar to a list of high-risk countries.
The Southeast Asian country’s virus situation has worsened over the past month, after initially reporting increasing case numbers in areas near the border with India, Chen said.
Starting tomorrow, travelers who have visited or transited in Myanmar in the 14 days before their arrival in Taiwan would be required to quarantine for 14 days in a centralized facility, Chen said.
Arrivals from Myanmar would be tested three times, with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests upon entering and completion of their quarantine, and a rapid test on the 10th to 12th day at the facility, he said.
The center also lists Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Peru and the UK as high-risk countries.
Costs for accommodation and testing would only be covered for arrivals from listed countries, Chen said.
Arrivals from all other countries would also have to take three tests, but can choose whether to quarantine at a centralized facility or a designated hotel, the center said.
Regarding the more than 20 imported cases reported over the past week, the center yesterday published the gene sequencing results of seven of them.
The seven Taiwanese returning from abroad were found to be infected with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), who is deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division.
Their virus cycle threshold values ranged from 10 to 22, which indicates that they were in the early stages of their infections, he said.
They were mostly asymptomatic or only had minor symptoms, except for one arrival from Myanmar, a man in his 60s, who is receiving monoclonal antibody treatment, he added.
Among the Delta variant cases, one Taiwanese man in his 20s received his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the UK last month, and one Taiwanese woman in her 30s received two doses of the same vaccine in the US, on June 9 and on Wednesday last week, before returning to Taiwan on the same day, Lo said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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