CORONAVIRUS/Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Taoyuan hospital cluster

Taipei,  Taiwan on Friday recorded six imported and two new domestic cases of COVID-19, both linked to a cluster infection at Taoyuan General Hospital, where the number has now climbed to 12, according to health authorities.

One of the new domestic cases is a man in his 90s, who was in the Taoyuan hospital earlier in the month and had tested negative for the virus on Jan. 11, four days before he was discharged, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said in a statement.

After one of the nurses on the ward was confirmed on Jan. 16 to have contracted COVID-19, the man was asked to quarantine at home, but he developed a severe toothache and was allowed to visit a dentist on Thursday, the CECC said.

During that visit to a branch of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, he was found to have a fever, and subsequent diagnostic tests found that he had a lung condition associated with pneumonia, according to the CECC.

The man was then tested again for COVID-19, and the results came back positive Friday, the CECC said, adding that he is the oldest person in Taiwan to have contracted the virus, so far.

A member of his family, a woman in her 60s who lives in the same home, was also confirmed Friday to have contracted the virus, the CECC said.

Two other relatives in the home, who usually take care of the elderly man, tested negative on Jan. 17 but are now in home quarantine, the CECC said.

At a press conference in Taipei, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, declined to say whether it was the Linkou or Taoyuan branch of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital that the man had visited.

Since Jan. 12, when the first case at Taoyuan General Hospital was reported, 12 infections have been confirmed in the cluster, including two doctors, four nurses, a migrant caregiver, and three relatives of the nurses.

In addition to the two latest domestic cases, Taiwan on Friday reported six new imported cases of COVID-19, from Cameroon, Indonesia and the Philippines.

To date, Taiwan has recorded 881 cases of COVID-19, with 774 classified as imported. Of the total, 777 patients have recovered, seven have died, and 97 remain in hospital, CECC data shows.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 97.41 million people in 193 countries and regions, with more than 2 million fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Friday.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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