CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan confirms first imported case of Omicron variant (update)

Taiwan on Saturday confirmed its first imported case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in a passenger who returned to the country from Eswatini on Dec. 8, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The passenger is a Taiwanese woman in her 30s who was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Friday. A subsequent laboratory analysis showed that she has been infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the CECC said.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???) said 10 other passengers who sat in the rows immediately in front of and behind the woman have all tested negative for the disease and are in quarantine.

Chen, who also heads the CECC, said the individual confirmed with the Omicron variant is currently asymptomatic and tested positive with a cycle threshold (CT) value of 28.

She is currently being quarantined in a negative pressure isolation room in hospital, he added.

As the Omicron case was successfully intercepted at the border, the risk of community transmission is minimal, Chen explained.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Taiwan reported 10 new COVID-19 cases, all contracted overseas, and no deaths from the disease.

According to the CECC, the new cases involved seven males and three females, including six Taiwanese nationals, who arrived in Taiwan from Nov. 19 and Dec. 9.

Five of the new cases tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan, while four returned positive test results before the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period, it said. Another individual was confirmed positive during the self-health management period.

The patients range in age from their teens to their 70s, and traveled to Taiwan from the United States, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Mongolia, according to the CECC.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 16,731 COVID-19 cases, of which 14,427 were domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.

However, only one domestic case, reported Thursday night, has occurred in the past month.

The case involved a woman in her 20s, who worked until early December in a laboratory at the Genomics Research Center at Academia Sinica, the CECC said.

According to the CECC, as no new deaths have been reported since Nov. 10, the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in Taiwan remains at 848, with all but 12 recorded since May 15.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel