Taiwan confirms 3 new COVID-19 cases

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung/ Photo courtesy of the CECC

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan on Sunday reported three new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus, two imported and one indigenous, bringing the total number in the country to 388 since the disease outbreak began at the end of December, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told reporters that the one case believed to have been locally transmitted, is a man in his 20s who had been sharing an apartment with a previously confirmed COVID-19 patient.

The man in his 20s had a runny nose but no other COVID-19 symptoms but was tested as precaution after he completed his required 14-day home isolation, Chen said.

On Sunday, the test results showed that he had contracted the disease, and health authorities are now trying to trace his contacts, Chen added.

Meanwhile, two new imported cases are a man and a woman in their 40s who have recently returned from the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the CECC.

The male patient had been working in the U.S. since Feb. 20, and he developed a cough and a sore throat on March 25, the CECC said. The symptoms disappeared after he took some over-the-counter medication, but on arrival in Taiwan on April 10 he was tested and showed up positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, the CECC said.

The female patient, meanwhile, is the wife of a confirmed COVID-19 case, and the couple returned to Taiwan on April 2 after a three-month trip to the U.K to visit relatives, the CECC said.

While in home quarantine, the woman, reported that she had lost her sense of taste and smell, and she later tested positive, while her husband was confirmed on April 6 to have been infected with the coronavirus disease, the CECC said. As of Sunday, 333 of the 388 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan were classified as imported and 55 as indigenous infections, the CECC said.

So far, Taiwan has reported six COVID-19 deaths and 109 recovered patients, while the others are still undergoing treatment in hospital isolation rooms, according to the CECC.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 1,723,092 patients in 184 countries and regions worldwide, including 526,396 in the U.S., 161,852 in Spain, 152,271 in Italy, and 93,790 in France, with a total of 107,979 fatalities, according to CECC numbers.