The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) on Thursday reported two new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, bringing the total number in Taiwan to 44.
The 43rd confirmed case, a woman in her fifties, is one of the contacts of case 39, while case 44 is a man in his thirties who recently returned from a trip to the Philippines.
Case 43 has no recent travel history and was listed as one of the contacts of case 39. She reportedly sat face-to-face with her in a floral design class. Health authorities consider it a cluster-infection case, they have tested all recent contacts of case 43.
Case 44, on the other hand, was hospitalized on March 3 after showing symptoms, including fever and sore throat. He was tested on March 4 and the test was confirmed today.
Case 44 traveled with a friend to the Philippines from Feb. 28 to March 3, and experienced stomach pains and diarrhea on March 2. After returning home the next day, a dry throat and fatigue led him to seek medical attention.
He has already been transferred to a negative-pressure isolation room. Close contacts of case 44 have yet to show symptoms.
Based on his travel record, it is likely that the virus was contracted abroad, health authorities said.
Authorities are now tracking down and following up on all contacts, including those on the same flight, who lived under the same roof and all others who may have been in contact with him when he sought medical help.