Taiwan records first new case of COVID-19 in seven days

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Taipei, May 29 (CNA) One new case of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease was reported in Taiwan on Friday, breaking a seven-day stretch of zero new confirmed infections in the country, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

At a daily press briefing, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), said the new patient is a man in his 20s, who went to Russia in February to study and returned to Taiwan on Tuesday.

While in Russia, the man developed a sore throat on May 15 and later began to experience physical fatigue and also lost his sense of smell, the CECC said in a statement.

On arrival in Taiwan on Tuesday, the man informed quarantine officers of his symptoms, but he tested negative for COVID-19 at that time, the CECC said.

A second test on Thursday, however, came back positive, and the patient is now in hospital, the CECC said.

Chen said the new case was not expected to punch any holes in Taiwan’s COVID-19 containment efforts.

“There is no need for the public to panic, because the man was quarantined upon arrival in Taiwan,” Chen said.

Prior to Friday, Taiwan’s last confirmed case of the coronavirus was on May 21, when a man in his 30s tested positive after he returned from a work trip to Mexico.

To date, 351 of Taiwan’s 442 cases of COVID-19 have been classified as imported, while 55 are believed to be local infections, according to CECC statistics. The other 36 cases were aboard a Navy vessel that was on goodwill mission in the Pacific in March, but the CECC has said that cluster infection originated in Taiwan.

Since April 12, Taiwan has not recorded any locally transmitted cases, according to CECC data.

So far, 420 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, seven have died, and the others are in hospital, the CECC said.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 5,819,082 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,749,265 in the United States, 411,821 in Brazil, 379,051 in Russia, 269,127 in the United Kingdom, and 237,906 in Spain, with a total of 358,941 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Friday.

(By William Yen)

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