TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (May 23) announced that nearly half of the country's COVID deaths have occurred within three days of diagnosis.
At a press conference that afternoon, the CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced 66,247 local COVID cases, including 130 moderate and 43 severe cases. He also announced 40 deaths, bringing the country's COVID death toll to 1,436.
Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC's medical response division, said that the 40 deaths announced on Monday include 30 males and 10 females ranging in age from under five to their 90s, all of whom were classified as severe cases. Among these deaths were a one-year-old boy who died suddenly during a nap at home and tested positive for COVID after death and a three-year-old boy who died from encephalitis and neurological shock brought on by the virus within four days of testing positive.
A total of 14 children have become seriously ill since the start of the Omicron outbreak in Taiwan. Four children have died, with three dying from encephalitis.
Chen said that since Jan. 1, Taiwan has recorded 740 severe cases, accounting for 0.06% of its COVID cases during that period. Of these cases, 583 resulted in death.
A member of the media pointed out that a number of recent COVID deaths have occurred within a few days of diagnosis and asked whether it is possible to avoid such an outcome with more timely medical care. Chen responded that according to statistics, the median number of days between diagnosis and death has been three days, while the average is 4.2 days.
In terms of the proportion of deaths, Chen said 47% have died within three days, while 33% have died within three to seven days.