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Details of Irishman's death on Taipei street emerge

Man refused to be tested for COVID despite symptoms, cause of death still uncertain

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Irishman seen staggering in middle of road moments before collapsing. (Taipei City Police Department photo)

Irishman seen staggering in middle of road moments before collapsing. (Taipei City Police Department photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) provided some details on the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of an Irishman last weekend.

At about 8 p.m. on June 26, a 58-year-old Irishman was seen staggering on a street in the Ximending area of Taipei's Wanhua District before collapsing and lying motionless. Officers who arrived on the scene performed CPR, but he died before reaching the hospital and tested positive for COVID-19 in a post mortem.

During a press conference on Friday (July 2), senior CECC health official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) gave an update on the investigation into the man's death. Lo said the man had suffered from high blood pressure and hyperlipidemia, for which he had been receiving regular medical treatment, including prescription medication.

According to a friend, the man had a sore throat on June 21. At the time, his friend suggested he undergo rapid screening, but he refused.

Lo said an investigation is underway and that the cause of the man's death has not been officially determined. He said it is not yet certain whether the man's death was caused by COVID-19.

A PCR test administered after his death revealed on June 28 that he was positive for COVID-19, with a Ct value of 33. Lo said that this indicates his viral load at the time of his death was relatively low.

The man had reportedly been working in Taiwan for five to six years and had received an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC). According to FTV News, the man was living with his Taiwanese fiancee and had stepped out to make a purchase prior to his death.