The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said it is looking into how two families in Kaohsiung and Taoyuan contracted COVID-19, and whether their cases are linked to a larger outbreak in Taoyuan.
The family in Kaohsiung — a father, mother and son — were among 13 new domestic cases confirmed yesterday.
They tested positive after the son began showing symptoms of the disease a day earlier, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing.
The father’s job is “related to Kaohsiung Harbor” and he had visited northern Taiwan recently, Chen said, but added that further investigation was needed to determine how the family became infected.
The source of two other infections recorded yesterday — a mother and daughter who live in Taoyuan’s Bade District (八德) — is also unclear, Chen said.
The two were tested for COVID-19, as the mother had recently visited Bade’s Danan Market (大湳市場), where a vendor was reported positive on Wednesday, Chen said, adding however that a retesting of the vendor’s sample and a second test have returned negative results.
The CECC has removed her as a COVID-19 case, he said.
Another domestic case recorded yesterday is the three-year-old son of a nurse who works at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋).
The nurse tested positive on Monday and another of her sons tested positive on Wednesday.
The source of the infection is also unknown, although genome sequencing is ongoing to determine whether it is linked to people in the hospital, Chen said.
The remaining seven domestic cases reported yesterday can be traced to the larger outbreak in Taoyuan, he said.
The first case in the outbreak — a janitor at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport — was reported on Jan. 3.
Since then, other airport personnel and their contacts have tested positive, and the disease has spread into the wider community.
Related clusters have emerged in the Golden Voice Social Club, factories, a bank and, most recently, a steakhouse.
More than 110 cases have been recorded so far, with more than half confirmed to be the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, CECC data showed.
Tests among other cases have either not been completed or the viral load was too low to get a result, the CECC said.
Of the 13 new domestic cases confirmed yesterday, six have been classified as breakthrough infections, one had received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and three have not received any COVID-19 vaccines, it said.
The vaccination status of the remaining three is being investigated, it said.
In addition to the domestic cases, Taiwan recorded 24 imported cases yesterday, with 15 testing positive upon arrival in Taiwan on Wednesday and the other nine testing positive during quarantine, CECC data showed.
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