The nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert, which is set to expire on Monday next week, is to be extended, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday.
Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told reporters before heading to a meeting at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that the COVID-19 alert level “will not be lowered on November 2,” but he did not say how long the extension would be.
Taiwan has been under level 2 alert, the third-highest on the nation’s four-tier scale, since July 27.
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control
The CECC yesterday reported eight new COVID-19 infections — six imported and two local cases — and one death from the disease.
One of the two local cases was a New Taipei City man who took a COVID-19 test on Sunday in preparation for accompanying a woman to a hospital to give birth, and the result came back positive yesterday, said Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), who is also the CECC’s deputy head.
Another local case was a Taipei man who was tested on Saturday and whose results came back positive yesterday.
Further tests showed that the two men had relatively high cycle threshold (CT) values of 33 and 37, indicating a low viral load and the possibility that they have had the infection for a while.
One man had received a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in July and a second dose earlier this month, while the other had received one AstraZeneca jab in July, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), who is also the deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division.
Judging by the high CT values the men had, they might have been infected with the disease before being inoculated or during the period between their first and second doses without being diagnosed, he said.
The one death involved a man in his 80s who had a history of a chronic disease and a case contact history, the CECC said.
He began experiencing loss of appetite and lethargy on June 8 and took a COVID-19 test before being admitted to the hospital that same day.
The man was confirmed as having COVID-19 on June 10 and was released from isolation on July 14.
He was discharged from the hospital on July 23, but was readmitted on Oct. 1 after complaining of discomfort.
He tested negative for COVID-19 several times while in the hospital before passing away on Friday, the CECC said.
The CECC added that between Friday and Sunday, it received reports of seven deaths after vaccination.
Among them was a 15-year-old girl, the youngest to have died from complications after being vaccinated, it said.
The girl received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Sept. 24, felt unwell during a physical education class on Oct. 15 and died that day, it said.
The girl had a history of cranial nerve lesions, it said.
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