Taiwan confirms 18 new imported coronavirus cases, total 153

Cases include 7th member of tour group that visited Egypt and Indonesian who returned home for wedding

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung 

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan confirmed 18 people who traveled or studied overseas as new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Saturday (March 21), taking the total for the country up to 153.

The previous day, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) had announced a record total of 27 cases, while a man in his 80s became the island nation’s second coronavirus fatality.

The new cases, 12 women and six men, included the seventh member of a tour group which had visited Egypt, a woman listed as No. 140. Another new patient was an Indonesian woman, No. 147, who had returned to her country for a wedding.

No. 143 and No. 144 were a Taiwanese couple living in the Czech Republic, but who were relatives of case No.77, the CECC said. No. 148 was a woman who had studied in the U.S. from Jan. 24 to March 15 and returned to Taiwan on the same flight as case No. 85. Another new coronavirus patient, No. 150, had studied in the U.K. from Jan. 14 to March 14.

According to the CECC, the other 13 cases were independent of each other or from previous patients. All of them were imported and had been either traveling, studying or working overseas.

No. 146 was a man who had worked in South Africa, while No. 151 had been working in the Netherlands, according to the CECC. Patient No. 136 was a woman who had toured Turkey. Other new patients studied in the U.K. or France, or had traveled around the U.S.

The new total of 153 coronavirus cases also includes 28 people who ended their quarantine. Taiwan has recorded two deaths.