Taiwan reports two new COVID-19 cases, brings total to 22

Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) attends a press conference on Feb. 17, 2020. (CNA)
Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) attends a press conference on Feb. 17, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Taiwan reported two more cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday evening, bringing the tally to 22.

According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心), the two additional patients are family members of a man who died of the virus on Feb. 15. One is the mother of the deceased and the other is his nephew-in-law.

The man’s younger brother was also found to have contracted the novel coronavirus on Sunday but was asymptomatic.

The deceased marked the first novel coronavirus death in Taiwan. He was a 61-years-old man who operated as a taxi driver though without a valid license.

He had not been to China, nor had he had contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases. He was diabetic and had hepatitis B, per the CECC.

The center tracked down a passenger whom the deceased had driven on Jan. 22 who arrived in Taiwan from Zhejiang (浙江), an eastern, coastal province of the China, CECC Chief Commander Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.

Che added that the passenger was “coughing severely” on Jan. 22.

The passenger was tested negative of the COVID-19, Chen said, which could be because he had recovered on his own.

Per the CECC, the deceased man began coughing on Jan. 27 and was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 3 due to hyperventilation. He was diagnosed with regular pneumonia at the time.

At the moment, the CECC has round up 181 people who had been in close contact with the four family members, including relatives, medical staff, co-workers and other passengers.

Of the 176 people tested on the virus, 113 are negative.

Other results are pending.