TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (May 12) reported 16 local infections, a new single-day record since the start of the pandemic.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Health and Welfare Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced 21 new coronavirus cases, including four imported cases, one case of unknown origin, and 16 local infections — a record one-day high for Taiwan since the start of the pandemic. Of the 16 local cases, three are tied to the Galaxy Baccarat Arcade in Yilan, 10 are related to the New Taipei Lions Club cluster, two worked in tea houses in Taipei, and one person is a resident of Keelung.
Chen said that a woman in her 30s, a boy under the age of 10, and a woman in her 60s are cases 1,216, 1,231, and 1,232, respectively. Case No. 1,216 is an employee of the Galaxy Baccarat arcade in Yilan's Luodong Township.
Case No. 1,231 is a contact of case No. 1,211, and case No. 1,232 is a contact of case No. 1,210. All three are asymptomatic and have not recently traveled abroad.
Due to the cluster infection in the arcade, they were tested for the coronavirus and were diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 12. Case No. 1,216 had a Ct value* of 15, case No. 1,231 had a Ct value of 26, and case No. 1,232 had a Ct value of 32.
A total of eight people have been diagnosed with the virus in the arcade cluster infection. The CECC is continuing an epidemiological investigation to determine if there are any other infections in the cluster.
Chen stated that case No. 1,217 is a woman in her 50s who resides in Keelung and has not recently traveled abroad. On May 2, she developed a fever, cough, and dyspnea. She visited a clinic on five occasions from May 4-10.
Due to persistent symptoms of dyspnea, abdominal pain, and muscle aches, she went to a hospital on May 11 for medical treatment. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and tested for the coronavirus.
On May 12, she was diagnosed with COVID-19, with a Ct value of 25 and positive results for both IgM and IgG antibodies. The source of her infection is still under investigation.
The health department has identified 25 contacts in her case, of whom 14 have been told to enter home isolation and 11 have been asked to start self-health monitoring. The CECC is continuing an epidemiological investigation to determine the source of her infection and other potential contacts.
According to Chen, there are 10 cases that are associated with a former Lions Club International president, case No. 1,203. They are five men and five women between the ages of 50 and 70 and are listed as case No. 1,218, case No. 1,219, case No. 1,223, case No. 1,224, case No. 1,225, case No. 1,226, case No. 1,227, case No. 1,228, case No. 1,229, and case No. 1,230.
Of these cases, one lives with case No. 1,203, and the rest are friends. Because all 10 had been listed as contacts of case No. 1,203, they were tested for the coronavirus, and the result came back positive for COVID-19 on May 12. An epidemiological investigation into further contacts in the cluster is ongoing.
Chen pointed out that case No. 1,220 is a woman in her 60s who has not recently traveled abroad and works at the Hongda Tea House (鴻達茶藝館) on Sanshui Street in Taipei's Wanhua District. On May 6, she began to experience fatigue, a fever, and a sore throat.
She visited a clinic on May 7 and May 8, but the symptoms persisted. On May 11, she sought treatment at a hospital, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Hospital staff administered a coronavirus test on the woman and she was diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 12, with a Ct value of 25. The source of her infection is still under investigation, and the health department has identified 30 contacts, all of whom have entered home isolation and are being tested for the virus.
Case No. 1,221 is a woman in her 50s who has no recent history of overseas travel and works at the Fengxiang Tea House (楓香清茶館) on Section 1, Xiyuan Road, also in Taipei's Wanhua District. On May 10, she developed an itchy throat, cough, and chills.
She went to a hospital for medical treatment and underwent a coronavirus test. She tested positive for COVID-19 on May 12, with a Ct value of 16. The source of her infection is still under investigation, and 12 contacts have entered home isolation and are being tested.
Chen said that case No. 1,222 is a woman in her 30s who is a flight attendant for China Airlines. She had been on a flight with case No. 1,187, a pilot for China Airlines, to Vietnam on May 5.
On May 9, she developed a sore throat but did not seek medical attention. On May 10, because she was listed as a contact of case No. 1,187, she was tested for the disease and entered quarantine.
She was diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 12 with a Ct value of 22. The source of her infection is still under investigation.
The health department has identified three contacts in her case and they have entered home isolation. Her case history and potential contacts are still being investigated.
*The cycle threshold (Ct) value refers to how many cycles at which fluorescence of the PCR test is detectable. The higher the number of cycles, the longer the virus has gone undetected. The lower the number, the more recent the infection and the higher the viral load.