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Taiwan confirmed 5 new coronavirus cases, includes nurses and janitor infected from hospital


Taiwan has confirmed five new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including four who are believed to have been infected in a hospital, bringing the country's total number of cases to 39, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.


Four of the new cases, including three nurses and one janitor, likely caught the virus through contact with the 34th case, who spent time in the hospital before being diagnosed, the CECC said.

According to the CECC, the 34th case is a northern Taiwan woman in her 50s who suffers from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and has no recent history of travel abroad. The source of infection for her case is currently unknown.

Regarding the new cases, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said the 35th case is a janitor who was in contact with the woman during her time in the emergency room, while cases 36-38 are nurses who treated the woman after she was moved into the hospital's general ward.

All four of the cases developed symptoms of the virus, including a cough, runny nose and fever, between Feb. 18-25, and were tested for the virus following the woman's diagnosis, Chen said.

On Saturday, lab results showed that the four had tested positive, he added.

Regarding the hospital where the transmission occurred, Chen said the rooms occupied by the 34th case have been closed for sanitation and that all hospital staff, patients and other confirmed contacts with the woman prior to her diagnosis have been placed under quarantine while they are tested for the virus.

Those who test negative for the virus twice will be placed under home isolation for 14 days, and then tested a final time upon completion of the quarantine period, Chen said.


The patients who shared hospital rooms with the woman, meanwhile, have been quarantined at designated medical facilities, Chen said.

As of Saturday, the CECC has identified 270 people who came into contact with cases 34-38. From that group, 186 people have been tested for the virus, of whom 183 tested negative and the remaining three are still awaiting results.

Meanwhile, the CECC announced Taiwan's 39th case of the virus Saturday in a northern Taiwan woman in her 60s who was part of a 37-member tour group to Dubai and Egypt between Jan. 29 and Feb. 21.


(By Central News Agency)
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