TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (March 19) confirmed six COVID-19 infections, surpassing the 1,000-case mark a year into the pandemic.
During a press conference on Friday, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced six imported infections, which means the country has now reached 1,004 cases. The latest cases were imported from Paraguay, the Philippines, the U.S., and Indonesia, raising the total number of imported cases in the country to 888.
Each had submitted a negative result of a coronavirus test taken within three days of their flight, and each was sent directly to a quarantine center upon arrival in Taiwan.
Chuang said that case No. 1,000 is a 30-year old Filipino man who came to for work on Feb. 28. When he arrived in Taiwan, he told quarantine officers that he was not experiencing any symptoms of the virus but that family members in the Philippines had been diagnosed with it in late February.
During his self-health monitoring period, his company arranged for him to undergo a self-paid coronavirus test on March 17. He was diagnosed on March 19.
The health department has listed a total of six contacts in his case. Of these contacts, two have been told to enter home isolation, while four have been asked to start self-health monitoring, as they were deemed to have worn adequate protective gear.
Cases 1,001 and 1,002 are female migrant workers from the Philippines in their 20s and 30s, respectively. They came to Taiwan for work on March 4.
As their quarantines were set to expire, they were tested for coronavirus on March 17 and tested positive on March 19. Since the two are asymptomatic and did not interact with others during their quarantines, the health department has not listed any contacts in their cases.
According to Chuang, case No. 1,003 is an American woman in her 50s who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S. on Jan .14. She came to Taiwan with her family for work on Feb. 7, and her quarantine ended on Feb. 22.
As she was scheduled to return to the U.S., she underwent a coronavirus test at her own expense on March 17 and was diagnosed on March 19. The health department has identified 13 contacts in her case, including 12 family members and friends who have been told to enter home isolation.
One contact is a hotel employee, who has been asked to commence self-health monitoring.
Case No. 1,004 is a Paraguayan male in his 20s. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Paraguay on Jan. 16.
On March 4, he took a flight that connected through Brazil and Dubai on his way to Taiwan for study. On March 6, he underwent a coronavirus test, which came back negative.
On March 18, prior to the end of his quarantine, he underwent another coronavirus test, which came back positive on March 19. Because he is asymptomatic and did not interact with anyone else during his quarantine, no contacts have been listed.
Chuang stated that case No. 1,005 is an Indonesian male fisherman in his 20s who came to Taiwan for work on March 5. As his quarantine was due to end, he underwent a coronavirus test on March 18.
He tested positive on March 19. Since he has been asymptomatic since entering the country and did not interact with anyone during his quarantine, the health department has not listed any contacts.
Since the outbreak began, Taiwan has carried out 183,386 COVID-19 tests, with 181,364 coming back negative. Of the 1,004 officially confirmed cases, 888 were imported, 77 were local, 36 came from the Navy's "Goodwill Fleet," two were from a cargo pilot cluster, one was an unresolved case, and one (case No. 530) was removed as a confirmed case.
Up until now, 10 individuals have succumbed to the disease, while 959 have been released from hospital isolation, leaving 35 patients still undergoing treatment in Taiwan.