Taiwan on Friday reported 16 new COVID-19 cases, all contracted overseas, and no deaths from the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The new cases involved nine males and seven females, including six Taiwanese nationals, who arrived in Taiwan between Nov. 25 and Dec. 8, the CECC said.
Three of the 16 new cases tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan, while the others had positive test results before the end of their mandatory 14-day quarantine periods.
The individuals ranged in age from their teens to their 60s, and traveled to Taiwan from the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Vietnam, Ghana, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand and the Philippines, according to the CECC.
CECC official Lo Yi-chun (???) said CECC experts are paying special attention to the case from South Africa, the first one to be imported from that country since Taiwan raised its travel alert for South Africa following an outbreak of the Omicron variant there.
The case, a Taiwanese woman in her 30s who received an AstraZeneca shot and a Moderna shot, visited medical facilities in South Africa, and it would be no surprise if it turned out that she contracted the Omicron variant, Lo said.
The CECC said it will carry out genome sequencing for the virus as soon as possible.
Taiwan has not had any Omicron cases to date, said Lo, who noted that all 19 imported cases that occurred Dec. 3-9 were the Delta variant, including one Delta+.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 16,721 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.
Only one domestic case, reported Thursday night, has occurred in the past month, however.
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.
It said she was likely infected with the Delta variant at her workplace in Taipei's Nangang District.
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