The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that COVID-19 restrictions are expected to remain in place after Monday next week, as it reported 12 local infections and two imported cases.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the 12 local cases are 10 men and two women aged 10 to 80 who began experiencing symptoms between Thursday and Saturday.
Six tested positive during isolation or upon ending it, he said, adding that the sources of infection have been identified in nine cases, while three remain unclear and would be investigated.
Photo courtesy of the Central Epidemic Command Center
Taoyuan reported five cases, all family members of a previous case, while New Taipei City had three, Taipei two, and Keelung and Kaohsiung one each.
Separately, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said at an expanded COVID-19 prevention meeting yesterday that while the CECC continues monitoring the COVID-19 situation, the Executive Yuan would collect information from its ministries and discuss whether restrictions could be further loosened after Monday next week.
Su made the remarks in reference to CECC’s announcement on July 23 that it a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert would be lowered to level 2, and that level 2 restrictions would remain in place until Monday next week.
Asked whether the CECC might ease COVID-19 restrictions next week, Chen said the daily number of local infections has dropped and there were fewer than 10 locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources reported daily over the past 20 days.
However, the COVID-19 situation in the past week cannot be said to be linked to the level 2 restrictions, he said, adding that the effect of easing some restrictions is expected to be revealed this week or next week.
“The COVID-19 alert will certainly remain at level 2” after Monday next week, he said.
“Easing restrictions is a difficult task,” he said, adding that many countries, even those with high vaccination coverage, have faced a wave of outbreaks after emerging from lockdown and easing restrictions.
As such, Taiwan must remain vigilant and maintain a certain degree of restrictions while continuing its vaccination program, he said.
The imported cases are one Taiwanese who returned from Thailand and another Taiwanese who returned from the US.
No new COVID-19 deaths were reported.
Among the 14,475 people infected with COVID-19 between May 11 and Saturday, 89 percent have been released from isolation after recovering, Chen said.
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