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Taiwan reports 2 more cases from hospital Covid cluster

Latest cases include patient in his 90s, his eldest daughter

CECC head Chen Shih-chung. (CECC photo)

CECC head Chen Shih-chung. (CECC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (Jan. 22) announced two new domestic cases and six imported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The cases, announced by CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), bring the country's total to 881. The latest domestic cases include a patient in the care of a nurse who worked with the index patient of the cluster — a physician at Taoyuan General Hospital.

The nurse, Case No. 852, is a woman in her 20s who was in contact with the doctor, Case No. 838, on Jan. 10. The hour-long meeting is believed to be the cause of infection.

Chen said Case No. 881 is an elderly man in his 90s who was receiving treatment for another ailment at the hospital. A coronavirus test administered on the patient on Jan. 11, the day Case No. 838 was diagnosed, came back negative.

Case No. 852 provided care for the elderly patient from Jan. 11-14. The patient was discharged from the hospital Jan. 15.

However, because Case No. 852 tested positive on Jan. 16, the bedridden patient was listed as a contact and placed in home isolation.

On Jan. 21, the health department treated the patient for another illness. During an examination, doctors found that the man had a fever and pulmonary infiltrate. He was tested for the virus, admitted to a hospital isolation ward, and diagnosed with COVID-19 on Jan. 22.

Chen pointed out that three other family members live with Case 881, two of whom are his main caregivers. They were previously listed as contacts of Case No. 852 and were tested for the disease on Jan. 17.

The results came back negative, and they are currently asymptomatic and undergoing home isolation. A third person who does not have symptoms and responsible for cooking meals when the patient is home.

On Jan. 21, contacts of Case 881 were identified and tested for the virus, and on Jan. 22, Case No. 882 tested positive. She is the daughter of Case No. 881 and is in her 60s.

According to the CECC, Case No. 881 has a Ct level of 15 and is in stable condition. Meanwhile, Case No. 882 does not currently have any symptoms and has a Ct level of 35.6.

The health department has commenced an investigation into Case No. 882's movements and contacts. The latest cases bring the total number of patients in the Taoyuan General Hospital cluster to 12.

Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 142,424 COVID-19 tests, with 139,699 coming back negative. Out of the 881 officially confirmed cases, 774 were imported, 68 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from a cargo pilot cluster, one is an unresolved case, and one (Case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case.

Up until now, seven individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 777 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 97 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.