Taiwan detects first local Covid case in over 8 months

Taipei, Dec 22 (efe-epa).- Taiwanese health authorities on Tuesday reported the first locally transmitted coronavirus case in more than eight months, the island’s official news agency CNA reported.

Taiwan has largely escaped the worst of the pandemic, having fared much better than most other developed nations, after restricting foreign travel during the early stages of the initial outbreak in Wuhan in central China in January. It detected its last local case on April 12.

The new positive case was a Taiwanese woman in her thirties, working for a local computer provider, who had been in close contact with a New Zealand pilot who tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

The woman underwent a test as part of the close contact tracing efforts, and eventually tested positive, although the pilot had not initially acknowledged to authorities that he had been in contact with her.

Having concealed this information – which was discovered during a police investigation on the matter – the New Zealander was fined up to 300,000 Taiwanese dollars (10,650 dollars, 8,175 euros).

The pilot had flown to and from Manila on November 28; he traveled to the United States the day after, and returned to Taiwan on December 4.

On December 8, the pair visited two department stores in the capital, Taipei, and two days later, another similar establishment in the northwestern city of Taoyuan.

So far, authorities have identified 167 people who have been in contact with the woman, who will be tested to determine if they have contracted the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic, Taiwan has recorded 770 cases of Covid-19, of which 675 are “imported” – people from other countries.

Of that total, 632 people have recovered, 131 are still in hospitals on the island and the other 7 have died, according to official data from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). EFE-EPA

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