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Taiwan's Tasty COVID cluster infection grows to 35 cases

Chen says 'there must be' undetected cases from Tasty steakhouse cluster

(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

(Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Jan. 17) reported 14 more COVID cases tied to a branch of the Tasty steakhouse, bringing the total number of cases in the cluster infection to 35.

During a press conference on Monday (Jan. 17), CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced 17 local cases, the highest single-day case count since Aug. 4, when 20 local cases were reported. Of these cases, 14 were tied to an Omicron cluster that started at a Tasty steakhouse in Taoyuan's Zhongli District.

Chen said that 27 of the cases are believed to have contracted COVID from inside the restaurant, while eight others came in contact with those infected at the eatery, bringing the cluster to 35 cases. He stated that there are 374 groups of guests who dined at the restaurant while confirmed cases were there and that these people are currently being sought out.

The two waves of infection that appeared to have occurred at the restaurant took place on Jan. 7 and 9. Chen said he is not sure why cases were not reported on Jan. 8 and 10 and did not rule out that infections that occurred on those dates could be detected later as testing continues.

Chen pointed out that it seems Omicron has the ability to spread within two days. He said that those who dined at Tasty on Jan. 10 and 11 should also have been diagnosed by now but that despite the large number of people tested, no cases have yet been tied to those dates.

He said that ideally, contacts from that period who have not yet gotten their test results would already be in quarantine, but if they have not yet been listed as contacts, "it makes me a little worried." When asked if there are possibly other undetected cases from the cluster, Chen said: "I hope not, but there must be."

He called on people who have visited the Tasty branch on Zhongshan Road in Zhongli District between Jan. 7 and 12 to get tested for COVID as soon as possible.

Updated : 2022-05-26 01:25 GMT+08:00