Five new coronavirus cases bring total infected in Taiwan to 16

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) prepares for a press conference on Feb. 6, 2020. (CNA)
Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) prepares for a press conference on Feb. 6, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — In one of the most dramatic rise so far, Taiwan reported five additional 2019-nCoV cases on Thursday, bringing the total number to 16.

All five patients are Taiwanese nationals, three of which have not recently been to mainland China, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心).

A retired couple transferred through Hong Kong to Italy on Jan. 22, and again on Feb. 1 when returning, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press conference.

Another patient, a 40 years old female visited Macau between Jan. 21 and 24.

This is the first time since the epidemic hit Taiwan that nationals with no links to the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak are infected, Chen said.

Relevant authorities are discussing whether more stringent measures should be put in place to curb the growth of the disease.

The remaining two cases are a middle-age man and a woman in her 20s. Both have worked in Wuhan for some time, according to the CECC’s press release.

Earlier Thursday, Chen brought the country some good news as its first coronavirus patient was discharged from the hospital after being tested free of the novel coronavirus.

Health experts had convened to determine whether the patient should be discharged after several test results come back negative, including samples taken from the patient’s feces, Chen said.