Taiwan reports 48 consecutive days without local coronavirus cases

Only 14 patients are still undergoing treatment in hospital, death toll remains at 7

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung at a CECC news conference 

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung at a CECC news conference  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan reported no new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) patients Saturday (May 30), keeping the total at 442 and leaving only 14 people still undergoing treatment.

The announcement by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) means the island country has achieved 48 days in a row without local transmissions. A run of seven days without new cases came to an abrupt end Friday (May 29), when a Taiwanese man recently returned from Russia on a charter flight tested positive after an initial negative test at the airport.

He was a student in his 20s who had stayed in the Eastern European country since February. None of the other 95 passengers on the same flight had tested positive yet, reports said.

The death toll remains at seven, while 421 patients have been released from isolation after treatment at hospitals. Out of the 442 cases, 351 were imported, 55 were local, and 36 originated from the Taiwan Navy’s "Goodwill Fleet." An investigation later concluded that the sailors' infections had occurred in Taiwan, before a stopover in Palau.

If no new local infections are reported by June 7, the CECC said the number of restrictions would be gradually lifted, though social distancing and masks would still be recommended. June 7 would mark the end of four consecutive infectiousness periods of 14 days each.