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American man in his 50's is Taiwan's 50th case of coronavirus

An American man in his 50s has been confirmed as Taiwan's 50th case of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Friday.

The man, who lives alone and works in central Taiwan, on Feb. 24 hosted four friends from the United States, who then left Taiwan on Feb. 26, the CECC said.

He developed symptoms including a cough, chills and a fever between Feb. 27 and March 7, when he sought medical treatment and was admitted to the hospital, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, at a daily press briefing.

The hospital reported the case to the authorities and conducted COVID-19 tests on the man, which came back positive on Friday, Chen said, adding that the patient is currently being treated in a negative-pressure room.

After investigating the case, medical authorities found the man had recently hosted two couples visiting from the U.S., Chen said.

In one of the couples, a person showed symptoms of chills, a cough and fatigue on Feb. 24, while the other began showing symptoms of the disease after leaving Taiwan on Feb. 26, and one of the couple's family members in the U.S. was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 10, Chen said.

One member of the other couple also developed respiratory symptoms after returning to the U.S., Chen said. Based on the timeline of the of the man's case, Chen said Taiwanese authorities believe he was likely infected by one of his American friends.

The CECC has identified 64 individuals who had contact with the 50th case, and are monitoring their health conditions, he added, noting that authorities have also obtained information on the two American couples' activities in Taiwan for further investigation.

(By CNA)

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