Taiwan Covid clusters
Taiwan has recorded 46 new domestic Covid-19 cases, two clusters of unknown origin in Taipei and Yilan County having been confirmed as Omicron variant infections.
Health officials say that of the cases, one was recorded in the Taipei cluster, bringing the total to six, while two were linked to the cluster at a hotel in Yilan County.
The number of Yilan cases stands at eight.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says preliminary genome sequencing showed that cases in the two clusters were caused by the Omicron variant.
But the virus sequences are different from each other, and they also differ from the virus sequences found at other cluster sites.
The CECC is now trying to identify the source of these infections.
Other than the domestic cases, Taiwan also recorded 46 imported cases on Wednesday.
Of these, 25 tested positive upon arrival in the country, the remaining 21 tested positive during quarantine.
Despite the increase in Covid cases, health minister Chen Shih-chung says the government won't yet consider banning on-site dining at restaurants, even though many of the recent Covid infections have been traced back to restaurants.
Chen noted that if an infected person ate at a restaurant, the chance that the disease will spread becomes higher the longer the infected person is there. But he also pointed out that the same applied to other workplaces, such as the Taoyuan bank cluster and the Port of Kaohsiung cluster.
Chen pointed out that banning on-site dining would affect people's livelihoods. But he also said outlets where clusters have already occurred will still be ordered to close temporarily while contact-tracing is conducted.