The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 18 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and four deaths.
The most local infections were reported in Taipei, with seven cases, followed by New Taipei City (six), Keelung (three) and Taoyuan (two), said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
Nine cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it, Chen said, adding that the infection sources of 13 cases have been identified, while contact tracing continues to clarify the infection sources of the other five.
Photo courtesy of the CECC
“The local infections reported recently have remained mostly in northern Taiwan, but while daily case counts have been relatively low, contact tracing needs to be more comprehensive,” Chen said. “Given the recent trend, the COVID-19 situation will be brought under control.”
Most of the recent cases have been in Taipei and New Taipei City, with only sporadic cases in other cities and counties that need to have infection sources determined, while cluster infections in the past two weeks have been mainly within households, he said.
There has been a rise in cases among younger people recently, so the center has asked local governments to expand the age range of key targets for COVID-19 prevention, while watching for community spread and enhancing medical capacity, he said.
The CECC agreed to a suggestion by local governments that people who have spent 10 days in isolation following a positive test and no longer have symptoms, but who return a cycle threshold value (CT value) lower than 30 from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, be ordered to continue isolation in an enhanced centralized quarantine facility or enhanced quarantine hotel, Chen said.
As for people who complete home isolation or quarantine and have a CT value higher than 30, they are to be released from isolation after two such test results, he said.
The CECC this week is to discuss with local governments preparations for a possible lowering next week of a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert, which is likely given the current situation, Chen said.
Bringing the daily confirmed cases back to zero is almost impossible so soon after community spread, he said, adding that the center is trying to strike a balance between bringing COVID-19 under control and avoiding “pandemic fatigue.”
As the virus situation is being brought under control, guidelines have been issued for venues and businesses to allow everyone to understand preventive and response measures, so they can act promptly if another outbreak occurs, he said.
The CECC also reported six imported cases and four deaths.
The imported cases were arrivals from Indonesia, Myanmar and the US, it said.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy chief of the CECC’s medical response division, said that among 14,353 confirmed cases reported since April 20, 2,821 people, or 19.7 percent, were diagnosed with severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Among 4,852 confirmed cases who are 60 or older, 1,884, or 38.8 percent, were diagnosed with severe pneumonia or ARDS, Lo said.
‘FAILED TACTICS’: A lawmaker said Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s success at boosting its ties internationally have boosted identification as Taiwanese Self-identification as “Taiwanese and Chinese,” or solely as “Chinese,” has dropped to record lows, while 63.3 percent of the public regard themselves as Taiwanese, a survey released on Tuesday by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center showed. Respondents identifying as Taiwanese and Chinese dropped to 31.4 percent, while those identifying solely as Chinese fell to 2.7 percent, the survey showed. The results reflect changes in attitudes since 1994 among Taiwanese toward independence and unification with China, as well as self-identification trends since 1992, commenters said. Support for independence was 25.8 percent, while about 5 percent of respondents said that they want the nation
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
‘STILL UNDER CONTROL’: The center also reported the first fatality involving the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a woman in her 70s who died on Wednesday The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 30 domestic COVID-19 cases, three imported cases and four deaths. Of the local cases, 15 were men and 15 were women, with the onset of symptoms reported between Saturday and Wednesday, the center said. Taipei and New Taipei City recorded 11 cases each, Taoyuan had seven cases and Hsinchu City had one, it said. Twenty-four of the local cases had known sources of infection, five had unclear links with confirmed cases and one was under investigation, it said. Despite the relatively high number of cases yesterday, the COVID-19 situation “is still under control,” Minister of Health