CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 21 new imported COVID-19 cases, highest 2021 daily count

Taiwan on Tuesday reported 21 new imported COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number this year, and no deaths from the disease, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???) said.

The new cases involved three Taiwanese nationals, 10 Indonesians, five Bangladeshi nationals, one Filipino, one Vietnamese and one Belizean -- eight males and 13 females -- who arrived in Taiwan between Oct. 29 and Dec. 5, Chen said during a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) press briefing.

The individuals are in their 20s to 60s, and traveled from the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia and Belize, according to the CECC.

Among the 21 new cases, one tested positive upon arrival, 15 had a positive COVID-19 test during the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, while the five Bangladeshi nationals -- all male -- received positive results only after taking a test on Monday before boarding a ship in Taichung for work, the CECC said.

CECC official Lo Yi-chun (???) said because further tests showed the five Bangladeshi nationals had antibodies against the coronavirus, and four of them received a negative COVID-19 test result after Monday's positive tests, they were likely infected some while ago.

One of them, the CECC said, was a confirmed case in Singapore on Oct. 28, and tested negative upon arrival in Taiwan on Nov. 18 and during the subsequent 14-day quarantine.

Lo added that considering the low viral loads found in the five men, they do not pose much risk of infecting others despite the few days they spent in the community.

Meanwhile, Chen said in light of the new wave of COVID-19 around the world, he expects the number of imported cases in the near future to stay relatively high, and these cases are likely to include people who have recovered from the disease but can still test positive.

During the first seven days of December, Taiwan recorded 82 imported cases of COVID-19, including Tuesday's new cases, and the number of total imported cases the country has reported has risen to 2,039, according to CECC data.

To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 16,683 COVID-19 cases, of which 14,426 were domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.

However, there have only been 123 domestic cases since Aug. 15, as daily domestic case numbers have fallen to mostly single digits or zero since then, and the most recent locally transmitted case in Taiwan was reported on Nov. 4.

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