Taiwan adds 3 new cases of COVID-19, total at 379

Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung.

TAIPEI (CNA) — Three new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus were confirmed in Taiwan on Wednesday, bringing the total in the country to 379 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The newly confirmed patients are all Taiwanese nationals, two of whom contracted the disease overseas, while the other is believed to have been infected locally, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC.

The local infection is a woman in her 30s, whose source of infection remains unclear at the moment as the woman has no recent history of overseas travel and mostly stays at home and in surrounding areas, the CECC said.

She developed symptoms of fever and a runny nose on April 4 and tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, the CECC said, adding that it has identified 21 people with whom she had come into contact.

Of the imported cases, one is a woman in her 20s who was studying in Spain, while the other is a woman in her 60s who traveled to Indonesia, the CECC said.

The younger woman arrived in Taiwan on March 22 and started to show symptoms of a sore throat and diarrhea the next day during home quarantine, it said.

The older woman returned to Taiwan on March 29 and developed symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing, fever and pneumonia on April 1, also during home quarantine, according to the CECC.

Sixty-seven of Taiwan’s COVID-19 patients have been released from quarantine, while five have died.

The others are still being quarantined and observed in hospitals, the CECC said.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 1,371,189 patients in 183 countries and regions, including 386,817 in the U.S., 140,510 in Spain, 135,586 in Italy, 99,225 in Germany, and 81,802 in China, with a total of 80,522 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Wednesday.