Taipei, June 1 (CNA) One new case of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease was reported in Taiwan on Monday, breaking a two-day stretch of no new confirmed infections in the country, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
At a daily press briefing, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the new patient is a woman in her 50s, who went to the United States in March for work reasons and returned to Taiwan on Sunday.
While in the U.S., the woman developed a fever, runny nose, and cough on May 18, and she began to lose her sense of smell on May 21, Chen said.
On arrival in Taiwan on Sunday, the woman informed quarantine officials of her symptoms and was immediately tested for COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, Chen said, adding that the patient is now being treated in hospital.
Meanwhile, 37 people who were on the flight with her from the U.S. have been contacted and advised to remain in home isolation, Chen said.
In Taiwan, people who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient are required to stay in home isolation for 14 days, while all arriving travelers must observe a 14-day home quarantine.
Since March 18, the CECC has banned the entry of all foreign nationals, with the exception of those holding alien resident certificates, diplomats, some categories of businesspeople, and travelers who receive "special permission" enter the country.
To date, 352 of Taiwan's 443 cases of COVID-19 have been classified as imported, while 55 are believed to be local infections, according to CECC statistics. The other 36 cases were aboard a Navy vessel that was on goodwill mission in the Pacific in March, but the CECC has said that cluster infection originated in Taiwan.
Since April 12, Taiwan has not recorded any locally transmitted cases, according to CECC data. The last imported infection, confirmed on May 29, was a man in his 20s who went to Russia in February for studies and returned to Taiwan on May 26.
So far, 427 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, seven have died, and the others are in hospital, the CECC said.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected 6,195,424 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,817,781 in the United States, 498,440 in Brazil, 405,843 in Russia, 274,762 in the United Kingdom, and 239,429 in Spain, with a total of 371,664 fatalities, according to CECC statistics as of Monday.
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