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Taiwan's total imported Omicron cases rise to 50

20 of Taiwan's 50 Omicron cases imported from US

(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Dec. 29) announced 50 imported breakthrough Omicron cases within two and a half weeks.

During a press conference, Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, announced that two new cases of the Omicron COVID-29 variant had been detected Wednesday. That brings Taiwan's total number of imported Omicron cases to 50.

All of these cases, of which 29 are mild and 21 are asymptomatic, qualify as breakthrough infections. There have yet to be any reports of confirmed moderate or severe Omicron cases in Taiwan.

Lo said that of these cases, 42 tested positive the day they arrived in Taiwan. The 50 cases originated in nine countries, with the U.S. accounting for the most at 20 cases.

The Omicron cases reported thus far have been quickly detected at the border or during quarantine. The cases were diagnosed within six days of arrival on average, and Lo emphasized that there has been no sign of community transmission thus far.

As for the two infections reported Wednesday, Lo said that case Nos. 17,000 and 17,001 are both Taiwanese, a boy in his teens and a man in his 40s, who returned from the U.S. and had each received two COVID vaccine doses, meeting the criteria for a breakthrough infection. Case No. 17,000 had been inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and tested negative for the virus when arriving in Taiwan on Dec. 20.

However, that same day, he began to experience fever and a sore throat. He sought medical attention on Dec. 23 and tested positive on Dec. 25 with a Ct value of 12.

Lo said that Case No. 17,001 had received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but a COVID test taken when he arrived on Dec. 23 came back positive on Dec. 25. The asymptomatic patient was found to have a Ct value of 24 and was placed in a hospital isolation ward.