Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday recorded one new case of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 476 since the pandemic began, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The person infected is a Taiwanese woman in her 50s who lives in the Philippines and began experiencing a fever on July 30, though she did not seek medical help there, said CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang at a press conference.
When she arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, she had a slight fever of 37.7 degrees Celsius and reported experiencing a cough, muscle soreness and phlegm. She was immediately tested for COVID-19 and sent to a designated quarantine center, Chuang said.
Her test results came back positive on Tuesday, and the CECC is now looking into who sat in the two rows in front and behind her during her flight, Chuang said.
The new case brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan to 476, with 384 classified as imported.
Chuang also provided an update regarding the 441 people who possibly came into contact with a Belgian national whose COVID-19 case, discovered last week, has puzzled experts.
So far, a total of 366 have tested negative for COVID-19, and 382 have tested negative for COVID-19 antibodies, while the remaining tests are still being processed, Chuang said.
The Belgian man in his 20s, who entered Taiwan on May 3 and went through the standard two-week quarantine, had two positive PCR tests for the disease last week.
The man was asymptomatic while he worked as a technician in Taiwan but needed a COVID-19 test to return to his country of origin, and that is when he tested positive for the disease.
The positive tests and the fact the man has been in Taiwan for more than two months would suggest he contracted the disease in Taiwan, but the CECC has yet to classify the case as a domestically transmitted or imported case.
Late Saturday, the CECC learned that the Belgian man sought treatment twice in March in Belgium for a loss of sense of taste and smell, potential symptoms of the disease.
He was not diagnosed with COVID-19 at the time, but his symptoms, combined with a positive IgG antibody test that indicated he could have had COVID-19 a while ago, has led the CECC to suspect he was first infected in March and that the original infection is still in his system.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 18.2 million people in 187 countries and regions, with a total of 694,137 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Tuesday.
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Chuang Jen-hsiang/ Photo courtesy of the CECC