No community transmission in Taiwan yet: CECC

A bus driver is seen wearing a mask on Feb. 17, 2020. (CNA)
A bus driver is seen wearing a mask on Feb. 17, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Central Epidemic Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心reassured the public on Monday that Taiwan has not yet reached the point of community transmission.

The first novel coronavirus death reported a day before stoked fear in Taiwan after the country saw six days of relative calm with no additional cases reported.

To clarify, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that four criteria have to be met to constitute community transmission: source of infection unidentifiable, number of locally transmitted infections much greater than imported ones, continuous chains of infection, and numerous widespread infection clusters.

At the moment, the only criterion Taiwan comes close to meeting is the first, Chen said. An investigation into the source of infection of the man who died on Sunday is ongoing.

The deceased was a 61-years-old man who had not been to China, nor had he had contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases. He was diabetic and had hepatitis B.

According to the CECC, the man operated as a taxi driver though without a valid license.

He frequently drove travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, in his private car around central Taiwan, which the center believes is how he contracted the virus.

As of press time, Taiwan has reported 20 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, two of which has been discharged from the hospital.

World Health Organization (WHO, 世界衛生組織) Spokesperson Tarik Jašarević confirmed to The China Post on Friday that the organization never said that there was community transmission in Taiwan after a Korean news agency incorrectly reported so.