Taiwan reports 5 new imported coronavirus cases from Philippines, HK

4 of Taiwan's latest imported coronavirus cases are from Philippines

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Artists paint mural of Darna, fictional Filipino comics superhero, wearing protective mask, scrub suit in Manila, Philippines.

Artists paint mural of Darna, fictional Filipino comics superhero, wearing protective mask, scrub suit in Manila, Philippines. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (July 28) announced five new cases of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) imported from the Philippines and Hong Kong.

During a special press conference on Friday, the CECC announced there were five new imported cases of coronavirus, raising the total number of cases in Taiwan to 467. The new cases include a man in his 50s (case No. 463), two men in their 30s (case No. 464 and 465), and a man and a woman in their 70s (case No. 466 and 467).

Case No. 463 had worked in the Philippines since March of this year. Beginning on July 21, he began to develop a fever, cough, loss of the sense of smell, diarrhea, and general fatigue.

On July 24, he sought medical treatment locally and was tested for the coronavirus. However, he did not receive the results of the test.

When he arrived in Taiwan on July 26, he registered a fever. Quarantine officers administered him a coronavirus test and then sent him to a quarantine center.

That evening, as his symptoms worsened, he was taken to a hospital for treatment. On July 28, he was confirmed to have COVID-19 and was placed in a hospital isolation ward.

The CECC said that case No. 464 had worked in Hong Kong since January of this year. On July 16, he experienced chills and night sweats, but the symptoms subsided after he took some medication.

On July 23, he started to develop phlegm and noticed a loss of his sense of smell and taste. When he arrived in Taiwan on July 26, he proactively informed quarantine officers of his symptoms.

Quarantine personnel tested him for the virus and dispatched him to a quarantine center. He was diagnosed with the disease on July 28.

Case No. 465 also had worked in the Philippines since January of this year. On June 19, he began to experience a cough, sore throat, muscle ache, and loss of his sense of taste and smell.

He went to a local hospital that day and underwent a test for the virus. The result was negative, however, and because the hospital did not prescribe any medication, he took cold medicine he bought over the counter.

When he returned to Taiwan on July 26, he took the initiative to inform quarantine officers of his symptoms; quarantine staff tested him for the coronavirus and sent him to a quarantine center. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 28.

According to the CECC, case No. 466 and case No. 467 are a couple in their 70s. The two went to the Philippines to visit relatives in January of this year.

On July 12, case No. 467 developed a fever, cough, and wheezing. The symptoms were alleviated after she took over-the-counter medication.

When the couple returned to Taiwan on July 26, case No. 466 was not presenting any symptoms. Case No. 467, however, informed quarantine staff that she had experienced symptoms prior to boarding the flight to Taiwan.

Both were tested for the coronavirus and were transported to a quarantine center. On July 28, the two tested positive for COVID-19.

The CECC said that cases 463, 465, 466, and 467 all took the same flight to Taiwan. The health department has identified 15 people who came in close contact with the four cases, including 10 passengers who sat near them and five crew members.

The 10 passengers have been told to undergo home isolation. Since the five crew members were deemed to have taken adequate measures to protect themselves from the disease, they are being asked to self-monitor their health.

The CECC on Tuesday did not announce any new reports of people with suspected symptoms. Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 80,825 COVID-19 tests, with 79,785 coming back negative.

Taiwan has now extended its streak of no new local infections to 111 days, with the last local case reported on April 8. Out of 467 total confirmed cases, 376 were imported, 55 were local, and 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet."

Up until now, seven individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 440 have been released from hospital isolation. This leaves 20 patients still undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in Taiwan.