CORONAVIRUS / Taiwan reports 8 new imported COVID-19 cases, bringing total to 67

Taipei, Eight new cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 have been confirmed in Taiwan, all of which are believed to have been imported, bringing the total number in the country to 67, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Monday.

Case 60 is a woman in her 20s who visited Italy, Greece and Germany from Feb. 9-March 11, said Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (???).

The woman was admitted to hospital on March 14, two days after she returned to Taiwan, with symptoms that included a fever, fatigue and chills, and she tested positive for the coronavirus earlier Monday, Chen said.

Chen said the patient is believed to have contracted the disease while staying in a hostel in Germany from March 5-9 and she told doctors that her roommate in the hostel had a severe cough.

The roommate did not wear a face mask and the two shared a bathroom, the CECC said.

In case 61, a woman in her 50s was admitted to hospital with fever on March 14, the same day she returned to Taiwan from a tour group visit to Austria and the Czech Republic that started on March 5.

The CECC has identified 20 people who had close contact with that patient, and is closely monitoring their health. One of the 20, a family member of case 61, developed a fever on Sunday and is currently in a hospital isolation room, pending test results.

Case 62 is a woman in her 60s who went the Philippines to visit family from March 7-14. She developed a fever, muscle pain and coughing on March 12 when she was still in the Philippines but did not go to a hospital until she returned to Taiwan on March 14.

In the 63rd case, a male in his 50s had joined the same tour group as case 55 to Egypt from March 3-12. He was admitted to a hospital a day after he returned to Taiwan with a cough, runny nose and chills, the CECC said.

The authorities are now monitoring the health of a total of 98 people who have been determined to have had contact with cases 55 and 63 and none of them have so far shown any symptoms, it noted.

In the 64th case, the man in his 20s went to Spain in August last year for short-term study and decided to return to Taiwan on March 12 after a schoolmate of his in Spain tested positive for COVID-19.

He developed chills, a runny nose and itchy eyes on March 14 and was admitted to a hospital a day later, where he tested positive for the coronavirus, the CECC said.

Case 64 and a previous case, 58, had studied at the same school in Spain and thus it is believed that the two contracted the virus there.

Meanwhile, cases 65, 66 and 67 are two 50-something women and a man in his 60s who had visited Turkey via Dubai with a tour group March 4-13.

They developed symptoms of COVID-19 between March 14 and 15 and were admitted to hospitals on March 15, according to the CECC.

So far, a total of five members of the 15-member tour group to Turkey (cases 56, 57, 65, 66 and 67) have tested positive for COVID-19 and the health authorities are monitoring the health of the rest of the group, the CECC added.

In light of the increasing number of imported COVID-19 cases in Taiwan over the past week, the CECC is urging Taiwan residents to avoid overseas travel for the time being.

As of Monday, over 166,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 6,489 deaths had been reported in 139 countries/territories worldwide, according to the CECC.

Among the 67 cases in Taiwan, 40 have been classified as imported, CECC said.

So far, 22 of the 67 coronavirus patients in Taiwan have been released from quarantine, while one patient has died and the others are still in negative pressure hospital quarantine rooms, but are all in relatively stable condition, according to the CECC.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel