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Taiwan reports 1,500 imported cases from China over week

32% of COVID cases imported from China are BF.7, while 68% are BA.5

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In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, People wearing face masks with their luggage prepare to catch their trains at the North Railway Station ...

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, People wearing face masks with their luggage prepare to catch their trains at the North Railway Station ...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Jan. 9) announced that over 1,500 passengers arriving from China last week tested positive for COVID, which was equivalent to about one in five arrivals from China, while one-third of cases were infected with the BF.7 subvariant of Omicron.

At the press conference, Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC's medical response division, said that of the COVID cases imported from China last week, 32% were infected with BF.7 while 68% were infected with BA.5. Lo pointed out that this differed significantly from the pattern seen from arrivals from other countries, with only 7% infected with BF.7, 39% infected with BA.5, and the rest infected with other subvariants such as BA.2.75 (36%), BQ.1 (14%), and XBB (4%). In Taiwan, the ratio is BA.5 at 55%, BA.2.75 at 28%, BF.7 at 9%, BA.2 at 6%, and BQ.1 at 2%.

CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) pointed out that out of the 1,634 passengers who arrived from China on Jan. 7, 1,406 tested negative for COVID, while 228 tested positive, representing 14%. As for the 37 passengers from China who entered Kinmen and Matsu on Jan. 7, seven tested positive, accounting for 18.9% of arrivals from China.

Head of the CECC Victor Wang (王必勝) announced that from Jan. 1-7, a total of 8,259 passengers arrived from China at Taoyuan Airport (7,043), Songshan Airport (1,040), Taichung Airport (1), Kaohsiung Airport (138), and Kinmen Shuitou Pier (37). Of these passengers, 1,571 tested positive for COVID, representing 19% of inbound passengers from China.

The scale of the COVID outbreak in China has raised concerns about the evolution of new variants, but the Chinese National Health Commission on Dec. 25 stopped publishing data on COVID cases altogether, prompting new testing requirements for passengers from China in many countries, including Taiwan.

Taiwan reports 1,500 imported cases from China over week
Number of passengers and positive cases arriving from China at 5 ports of entry from Jan. 1-7. (CECC image)