Two new imported COVID-19 cases recorded in Taiwan

CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang. (Courtesy of the CECC)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Two people who returned to Taiwan recently have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country since the start of the pandemic to 484, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.

One of the patients, a woman in her 30s, returned to Taiwan on Friday from Australia after going to the country in February to work, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing in Taipei.

The woman developed symptoms on Aug. 6 while in Australia and notified Taiwanese airport health officials of her condition upon her arrival in Taiwan, Chuang said.

She was immediately tested then quarantined, Chuang said, adding that her results came back positive Sunday.

A total of 41 people who sat near her on the plane have been asked to self-isolate, while 12 cabin crew members have been asked to practice self-health management, which essentially means wearing a mask at all times and taking their temperature twice a day.

The other patient, a man in his 40s who returned to Taiwan Friday after going to the Philippines in February to work, developed symptoms on Aug. 8 while still in the Southeast Asian country, Chuang said.

However, the man did not seek medical attention while there, Chuang added.

He was tested and quarantined upon his arrival in Taiwan on Friday, and hospitalized that evening as his symptoms resurged, Chuang said, adding that his results also came back positive Sunday.

A total of 15 people who sat near the man have been asked to self-isolate, Chuang said.

The two new imported cases brought the total number in Taiwan to 484, of which 392 have been classified as imported, the CECC said in a statement.

To date, 450 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, and seven have died, while the remainder are in hospital, the CECC said.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 21,437,602 people in 187 countries and regions, with a total of 766,009 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Sunday.