Delta variant cluster in Pingtung as new batch of vaccines arrives

01 July, 2021

Courtesy of ICRT

The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday reported 56 new coronavirus cases, including a new case in a cluster infection caused by the Delta variant in Pingtung.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says 15 people have now tested positive for the Delta variant in Pingtung, but despite recent outbreaks in several cities and counties, the overall number of new cases is continuing to trend downward.

The new Delta variant case is a contact of an unlicensed taxi driver in the cluster, and they tested positive while in quarantine - with the health minister saying that the risk of that patient having spread the disease is low.

According to the health minister, tests on over 6,000 residents in two Pingtung townships where Delta variant cases have occurred, as well 392 staff and patients at a hospital being investigated as a possible site of transmission have all come back negative so far.

Of the 56 new cases, all but one were domestic infections, and 27 involve people who tested positive while in quarantine.

New Taipei once again reported the most cases, with 23, followed by Taipei with 22. Taoyuan reported five cases, while Kaohsiung and Miaoli each reported two, and Pingtung had one new case.

Of the total, 31 cases had a known source of infection, 22 are still being investigated, while two have unclear links to other cases.

The sole imported case involved an Indian man who arrived in Taiwan on 27 June 27 and tested positive at a government quarantine facility.

The new cases bring the total number here in Taiwan since the pandemic began to 14,804.

Meanwhile, five new deaths are being reported, three men and two women in their 60s and 70s, who passed away between June 25 and June 28. A total of 648 people have died from the coronavirus here in Taiwan to date.

Meanwhile, the Central Epidemic Command Center has taken delivery of a third shipment of Moderna coronavirus vaccines.

The shipment of 410,000 doses is part of a 5.05 million doses purchasing contract that the government signed directly with the US drugmaker in early February.

The vaccines arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on an EVA Air cargo flight from Amsterdam and were immediately transported to a designated cold storage logistics centre for follow-up inspection and sealing operations.

In addition to the 5.05 million purchased Moderna vaccine doses, the US government also donated 2.5 million doses of the vaccine to Taiwan, which arrived on 20 June.

Taiwan has signed contracts to purchase nearly 20 million doses of vaccines from abroad.

And, along with the Moderna vaccines, the purchase agreements also includes 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 4.76 million of unspecified brands through the COVAX program.

It has also signed contracts to buy 10 million doses of vaccines from two Taiwanese companies.

Premier Su Tseng-chang says more government-bought vaccines will begin to arrive soon and the government will expand the scope of its vaccination programme later this month.

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