CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 18 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths

Taiwan reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, all contracted overseas, and no deaths from the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The new cases are 15 Taiwanese and three foreign nationals, who entered Taiwan between Dec. 10 and Dec. 23 from the United States, Vietnam, Cambodia, France, Pakistan, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and the Netherlands, the CECC said.

The individuals -- 15 males and three females, ranged in age from their teens to their 60s -- tested positive for COVID-19 either upon arrival in Taiwan, or before they finished the mandatory quarantine required for all arrivals, according to the CECC.

All but one were classified as breakthrough infections, meaning these individuals had been fully vaccinated but still contracted the coronavirus, the CECC said.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed 16,891 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,435 are domestic infections reported since May 15, 2021, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.

Daily domestic case numbers have fallen to mostly single digits or zero since Aug. 15. Nine such cases have been reported in December so far, including seven linked to cluster infections at quarantine hotels in Taipei and Taoyuan.

With Saturday's new cases, the number of imported cases since Dec. 1 has risen to 281, CECC data showed.

As no deaths were reported Saturday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country remains at 850, with all but 12 recorded since May 15.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel