61 new cases of Omicron subvariants
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says 61 people who recently arrived in Taiwan have been found to be infected with either the Omicron BA.4 or BA.5 subvariant. However, no domestic cases of the new subvariants have so far been detected.
According to the centre's medical response division, genome sequencing conducted on 120 passengers who tested positive on arrival between 10-18 June, found eight of them were infected with the BA.4 subvariant, 53 had contracted the BA.5, and 59 had the BA.2 subvariant. Taiwan has recorded 19 cases of the BA.4 and 107 cases of the BA.5 subvariant
to date, all of which were among incoming travellers.
Division deputy head Philip Luo says data shows that around a quarter of Omicron cases worldwide are now caused by the BA.5 subvariant, and 9% by the BA.4. Luo says although the two subvariants are spreading, there has not been an "explosive" increase.
In other Covid news, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has approved the use of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine for children under the age of 5 and for booster shots for those aged between 5 and 11.The committee has approved the Novavax vaccine for those aged 18 and over while it has also expanded the eligibility of second booster shots.
CECC spokesperson Zhuang Ren-xiang says the rollout of the vaccines for these four groups will depend on shipments and the arrangements of local governments. The government has ordered 2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine through COVAX.
Meanwhile, the committee also approved a second booster shot for those working at airports and other ports of entry, and for people whose work requires them to be in contact with individuals in quarantine and care facility employees. These individuals should get their second booster shot five months after their first booster.
This comes as the CECC reported 28,580 new coronavirus cases on Monday. Of that number, 91 are imported infections.
Taichung reported the highest number of cases, with 4,008. That was followed by Kaohsiung, with 3,888, and New Taipei with 3,679 cases.
Health officials say 85 previously reported cases have now been listed as severe, while 120 other cases have developed moderate symptoms. 91 new deaths were reported. The deceased ranged in age from their 30s to over 90 years old. They included 86 individuals who had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases and 37 who were unvaccinated. It brings the number of coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began here in Taiwan to 6,345.