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Taiwan confirms 6 new local COVID cases

CECC announces single-day record 72 imported cases, but no deaths

(Taiwan News, Huang Tzu-ti image)

(Taiwan News, Huang Tzu-ti image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan confirmed six local infections and a single-day record of 72 imported COVID-19 cases Saturday (Jan. 15), but no new deaths, leaving the death tally at 851, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The new local infections had been announced by the Taoyuan City Government early Saturday as linked to a restaurant in the Zhongli District of the Tasty steakhouse chain where infected staff from a Union Bank branch held a celebration banquet ahead of the Lunar New Year. The new cases were three customers of the restaurant, and two fellow students and a relative of a teenage student who had been working at the restaurant.

Of Saturday’s imported cases, 46 cases had been diagnosed following tests at the airport, while 26 others had been found later, during their quarantine period, reports said. The number of 72 was the highest for a single day. More than 8,000 arrivals from overseas had been expected for Friday (Jan. 14) and Saturday, just two weeks ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, an annual peak travel period for Taiwanese heading back to the home country for family get-togethers.

Taiwan’s latest total number of 17,716 coronavirus patients included 14,682 domestic cases and 3,034 imported ones. The 851 fatalities from the pandemic included 838 due to local infections, with New Taipei City registering 413 deaths and Taipei City 322.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Keelung reported 29 deaths, Taoyuan 27, Changhua 15, Hsinchu County 13, Taichung five, Miaoli three, Yilan and Hualien two each, and Hsinchu City, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Nantou, Yunlin, Pingtung and Taitung one each. The 13 other deaths were imported cases.

A total of 36 COVID cases originated from a journey by the Taiwan Navy’s "Goodwill Fleet" in 2020, three were infected on board a flight, one case was classified as unresolved, and 14 cases were put under investigation. A total of 114 earlier patients were removed from the list of confirmed cases.