The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 19 imported cases of COVID-19 and 14 newly confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman, said the imported cases are nine men and 10 women who arrived from Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Laos, Switzerland, Turkey, the US and Vietnam.
The case from Kazakhstan is a Taiwanese woman in her 20s, who traveled there to attend the Asian Karate Championships with a national team of 22 people.
Twelve members of the team have already tested positive for COVID-19, and were reported as confirmed cases on Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, genome sequencing results showed that 14 previously reported imported cases were infected with the Omicron variant, Chuang said, adding that a total of 48 imported Omicron cases have so far been identified in Taiwan.
Among the 14 new Omicron cases identified yesterday, seven are members of the Taiwanese karate team who returned from Kazakhstan, he said.
Among the 13 COVID-19 cases from the karate team, two had received one dose of a vaccine, and 11 had received a second dose between July and last month, Chuang said.
The center would ask the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to advise whether national sports teams traveling abroad should be allowed to receive a booster shot sooner than required after their second dose, he said.
The karate team members would be interviewed to determine the possible causes of infection, he added.
As the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) on Monday recommended that the isolation time for people who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms be shortened from 10 days to five, requiring them to wear a mask around others for another five days, the CECC was asked if Taiwan might also shorten isolation and quarantine times.
As the US CDC had just issued the statement, the center would look into the related reference material and discuss it with the specialist advisory panel, Chuang said.
He said that 53,558 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Monday, bringing the nation’s first-dose vaccination rate to 79.83 percent, second-dose rate to 67.26 percent and third-dose rate to 0.45 percent.
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