TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (Dec. 25) announced four new cases of coronavirus from Pakistan, Indonesia, the U.S., and the Philippines.
During a press conference, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced four imported COVID-19 cases, raising Taiwan's total number of infections to 780. The latest include two Taiwanese men, a Filipino woman, and an Indonesian woman.
All had provided proof of a negative coronavirus test issued within three days of their flight, and three of them are displaying symptoms.
Chen said Case No. 778 is a Filipina in her 30s who came to Taiwan for work on Dec. 10. She has exhibited no symptoms since arriving but was confirmed with coronavirus on Dec. 23 upon completion of her 14-day quarantine.
Case No. 779 is an Indonesian woman in her 40s who traveled to Taiwan for personal reasons on Dec. 16. She began experiencing mild symptoms such as a runny nose on the day of her arrival.
At the time, the woman did not inform officials at the airport about her symptoms and was transported directly to a quarantine hotel. On Dec. 23, she contacted the health authorities about her worsening symptoms, and arrangements were made for her to undergo a coronavirus test.
The woman was diagnosed with the disease Friday, and the health department has identified 30 contacts. Among them are 11 passengers who had sat in the two rows directly in front of and behind her and 19 members of the flight crew.
Chen stated that Case No. 780 is a Taiwanese man in his 50s who went to Pakistan on Nov. 18 to visit his family and returned to Taiwan on Dec. 23. He sought medical attention in Pakistan after he had started to experience symptoms such as a cough on Dec. 14, but he tested negative for coronavirus.
The man informed quarantine officers in Taiwan that he had displayed COVID-like symptoms, and he underwent a test for the coronavirus. He was diagnosed with the disease Friday.
However, no contacts were listed since no passengers had been sitting within two rows of him on his flight. Members of the flight crew have already left for other countries.
Chen said Case No. 781 is a Taiwanese man in his 40s who has been living in the U.S. for an extended period of time, with his most recent departure from Taiwan being in October of 2019. On Dec. 20, he returned to Taiwan with his family.
During his home quarantine, the man began experiencing symptoms such as a runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, and fever. He was also diagnosed on Dec. 25.
The health department has identified 15 people who have come in recent contact with the man. Three have begun a 14-day period of home isolation, while the other 12 have been asked to self-monitor their health.
Among Taiwan's tally of 780 patients, 685 cases were imported, 56 were local, 36 originated from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," and one case was classified as unresolved. The country's death toll from the pandemic remains at seven, with the most recent one occurring in May.
Since one case had originally been listed as No. 530 but was later reclassified as not infected, there is a discrepancy in the categorization of the case number. As of Friday, 133 patients were still being cared for in hospitals, and 640 have been released from care, according to the latest CECC statistics.