No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday, marking the 27th consecutive day without new domestic cases in Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
CECC specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said that 66,460 suspected cases have been reported from Jan. 15 to Thursday, and 440 have tested positive for the disease.
Among the infected patients, 308 (70 percent) were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, 96 (21.8 percent) had pneumonia and 36 (8.2 percent) had serious pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome, he said.
Photo provided by the Central Epidemic Command Center via CNA
A total of 361 patients (82 percent) have left isolation after testing negative three consecutive times, 352 (80 percent) have been discharged from hospitals, 82 (18.6 percent) remain hospitalized and six (1.4 percent) have died, he said.
Chang said that among 24 patients who had or have depended on ventilators, as of yesterday only three remain on ventilators, and one still requires extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
No COVID-19 cases have been detected among medical practitioners and long-term care facility workers, he said, adding that expanded criteria for testing them were implemented on March 30.
“It is likely that the total number of cases [in Taiwan] would remain about the same, with maybe a few sporadic imported cases still being reported,” Chang said.
“With COVID-19’s 14-day incubation period, if no new case has been detected in local communities for two incubation periods — 28 days — from a public health perspective, we could view our communities as safe,” he said.
Taiwan has an infection rate of about 18.6 confirmed cases per 1 million people and a death rate of about 0.3 deaths per 1 million, which are lower than Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries, Chang said.
The infection rates in several European countries and the US are higher than 3,000 cases per 1 million, he added.
In other news, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that as spectators at CPBL baseball games on Friday were well-behaved in practicing personal disease prevention measures in the first two games opened to the public, the CECC is considering raising the maximum number of spectators per game from 1,000 to 2,000.
Additionally, Department of Medical Affairs Director-General Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said that from yesterday, regulations for visitors to intensive care units, hospices and palliative care units in hospitals have been relaxed, allowing for a maximum of two visitors per hospital bed in a given visiting period.
Each hospital would determine the visiting hours, and hospitals are required to control the flow of visitors and implement disinfection measures, he said.
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