The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions.
“The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.
Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today.
The center said that 150 of yesterday’s cases had moderate symptoms and 131 had severe symptoms.
As of Tuesday, 0.23 percent of all cases reported this year had moderate symptoms and 0.17 percent had severe symptoms, Chuang said.
Of yesterday’s deaths, 158 had cancer or other underlying health conditions, 111 had not received a COVID-19 vaccine booster and 90 were aged 80 or older, he said.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said that the four-year-old girl did not have underlying health conditions.
She developed a fever and convulsions on Tuesday last week, and was subsequently placed on a ventilator, he said.
The girl was diagnosed with COVID-19 and encephalitis, and developed multiple organ dysfunction, he said, adding that she died of pulmonary hemorrhage on Friday.
She was the 19th COVID-19-related death of a child reported in Taiwan this year, and the sixth death due to COVID-19-related encephalitis, Lo said.
The 19-year-old man had chronic cardiovascular disease, Lo said, adding that he on May 30 developed a fever, a cough and a runny nose, and tested positive a day later.
He was on June 1 admitted to hospital, after also developing a headache and convulsions, as well as spitting blood, Lo said.
He was diagnosed with intracerebral hemorrhage and increased intracranial pressure, and underwent surgery on June 3, Lo said, adding that the man developed severe sepsis a week later and his condition further deteriorated.
He died of intracerebral hemorrhage on Friday last week, Lo said.
Meanwhile a nine-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 19, was diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), Lo said.
The boy on June 15 developed a fever, a headache, a cough and neck pain, and was on Saturday admitted to an intensive care unit after his symptoms indicated he had MIS-C, Lo said.
His condition had since improved, and he was on Tuesday transferred to a general ward, Lo added.
Asked whether he agrees with health experts that another COVID-19 wave might occur in September or October, Chuang said that the caseload might increase after August, citing trends in other countries and concerns about the Omicron BA.4, BA.5 and BA2.12.1 subvariants of SARS-CoV-2.
He said the CECC continues to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as this would reduce the risk of severe illness or death from the disease.
Asked whether the inbound passenger cap, currently at 25,000 people per week, might be increased, Chuang said the center is monitoring the nation’s quarantine hotel, disease prevention vehicle and overall healthcare capacities, adding that most other countries opened their borders after caseloads had fallen to lower numbers.
Chuang said that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, earlier this week returned to work, after isolating for seven days following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
He attended a CECC meeting earlier yesterday, but as he still tested positive in a rapid test, he is avoiding public events, including the center’s daily news conference.
Asked about a rumor that Chen might leave the CECC by the end of the month to run in the local elections in November, Chuang said he had not heard such a report, but added that the center is operating as usual.
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