Taiwan confirms 1 new case of COVID-19

Photo courtesy of the CECC

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan reported one new case of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 427 since the pandemic began late last year, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The latest case was the 29th resulting from a cluster infection on the “Panshi” fast combat support ship, which was part of a three-ship flotilla that visited Palau in mid-March, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the CECC, at a daily press briefing.

The flotilla left Taiwan in early March, stopped in Palau from March 12-15, and returned home on April 9, but the crew were not allowed to disembark until April 14- 15 because of quarantine regulations.

The patient is a male soldier in his 20s, who tested negative on April 18, when all 744 of the crew on the three ships were placed in quarantine, the CECC said.

The soldier developed a sore throat and cough on April 19 and received another test on April 21, the CECC said, adding that he was confirmed as having contracted the disease Thursday.

As of Thursday, 1,237 people had been listed as having come into contact with the 29 confirmed cases and 509 have been required to isolate themselves at home.

The others have been asked to practice “self-health management,” which means wearing a mask at all times, taking and recording one’s temperature twice a day, and minimizing time spent in public.

Of Taiwan’s 427 COVID-19 cases to date, 343 have been classified as imported and 55 as local infections. The 29 from the “Panshi” are still being investigated to determine whether the source of the infections was imported or domestic, according to the CECC.

Currently, 253 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, six have died, while the others are still hospitalized, the CECC said.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 2,649,696 patients in 184 countries and regions, including 851,425 in the U.S., 208,389 in Spain, 187,327 in Italy, 181,373 in France and 145,694 in Germany, with a total of 182,467 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Thursday.