The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases or deaths, but confirmed five imported cases: travelers who arrived from Japan, South Africa and Vietnam.
Genome sequencing results for more cases associated with a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) showed they have also contracted the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
Twenty cases associated with the cluster had the Delta variant, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), who is deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division.
Photo courtesy of the Yuanli Township Farmers’ Association
Genome sequencing results for virus samples collected from a construction worker who had visited a building in Banciao where people in three households later tested positive for COVID-19, as well as the worker’s wife, yesterday showed that they also had the Delta variant, Lo said.
Antibody testing on one of the cases in the cluster showed that she has antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein due to vaccination, but none against the nucleocapsid protein, which are produced due to a previous COVID-19 infection, he said.
The test results indicate that she was recently infected, which matches the conclusion made from contact tracing and her polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results, Lo added.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
In other developments, genome sequencing results for a junior-high school student in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山), whose case was reported on Friday, showed that he had the Alpha variant, the main variant circulating in Taiwan.
The student’s PCR test produced a high cycle threshold value, indicating a low viral load, Lo said.
He tested negative for IgM antibodies, but positive for IgG antibodies, indicating a previous infection some time ago, Lo said, adding that the student’ three family members tested negative for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Chen said that test results from people associated with a separate Delta cluster among aircrew members in Taoyuan, including expanded testing on all EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) pilots, suggest that the cluster has been brought under control, as no new confirmed cases have been found.
While there is still the possibility of finding a few sporadic cases in the following days, the cluster could still be considered under control if the cases are found during isolation, he added.
A total of 2,984 people associated with the Banciao cluster have undergone COVID-19 testing, and so far 22 have tested positive, 2,001 tested negative and 961 people are awaiting their test results, Chen said.
That two-thirds of the screened people have tested negative points to a relatively safe situation, he said adding that the situation would be considered safer if the remaining results also come back negative.
CAUTION URGED: Strong winds and heavy rain are forecast throughout the nation, even though the CWB was not sure whether the eye would make landfall in Taiwan The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday issued a land warning for Typhoon Chanthu, as it continued to gain power while approaching Taiwan from the southeast. As of 8pm last night, Chanthu was about 410km southeast of Pingtung County’s Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), the southernmost point of Taiwan proper, moving northwest at 15kph toward the Bashi Channel. The typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 209kph, with gusts of up to 263kph, bureau data showed. Chanthu, which is likely to come closest to the nation over the weekend, could pose a threat throughout Taiwan proper, but particularly in Taitung and Pingtung, the bureau said. Strong winds and heavy
CLOSED FOR DISINFECTION: Two of the three local cases were linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten, while the other case works at a McDonald’s restaurant The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three new local COVID-19 infections and 11 imported cases, but no deaths. The local cases are two men and a woman aged between 20 and 80 who reside in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, the CECC said in a news release. Two of them are linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. He said they are both associated with the mother of a kindergarten student, who was earlier confirmed to have
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
ECONOMY TO BENEFIT: Premier Su Tseng-chang said that online retailers were not excluded as they agreed to work with the government in helping local businesses The Quintuple Stimulus Voucher program has been finalized and Oct. 8 set as the issuance date, while an economic benefit of up to NT$200 billion (US$7.21 billion) is expected, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) disclosed the program details at a news conference in Taipei. The vouchers would be offered in print or electronic versions to Taiwanese; their foreign, including Chinese, spouses; holders of Alien Permanent Resident Certificates; and diplomats, Su said. People can register for digital vouchers from Sept. 22 via 5000.gov.tw or other digital payment platforms, while registration for print vouchers is available at convenience stores from Sept.