There were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 yesterday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that 12 patients have been discharged from hospital following treatment.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news conference in Taipei that investigations into two cases had been closed, as the virus did not spread further.
The two cases — the nation’s 33rd, a man in his 30s who traveled to Japan, and 39th, a woman in her 60s who traveled to Egypt and Dubai, United Arab Emirates — were both considered to have been infected overseas.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The center is most concerned about the 34th case, which developed into a cluster of cases, because the 42nd case is a relative of a person who was in the same hospital ward, meaning that there might be a chance that the virus spread to the local community, Chen said, adding that it would closely monitor the situation.
Presenting a diagram of the possible contacts of the confirmed patients associated with the 34th case, Chen said that 22 of 29 family members, 76 of 91 medical practitioners and 153 of 279 others have all tested negative for COVID-19, but added that the investigations and screenings were ongoing.
Of the nation’s 42 confirmed cases, one person has died and 12 people have been discharged following treatment, while the remaining patients are hospitalized in stable condition, the center said.
As many people have urged the center to provide clear instructions for holding events, Chen said that it has drafted a new version of its COVID-19 prevention guidelines for large events, which was yesterday to be discussed by government departments and is expected to be published today.
The guidelines would not be rigid rules, but would include suggestions for events of more than 1,000 people, a number suggested by the WHO, such as conducting risk assessments and personnel control; maintaining good air ventilation and keeping people 1m apart; and setting up an emergency response plan.
Asked to elaborate on his remark at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning that “in the long run, local transmission [of COVID-19] is inevitable,” Chen said that in light of the global epidemic and with asymptomatic cases being reported, he is not naive enough to believe that Taiwan can avoid a local outbreak.
“It would be best if we could avoid a local outbreak, but we will not make preparations under that assumption,” Chen said.
“We must make preparations as though we are facing a more serious situation,” he said.
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