Taiwan’s Covid-19 cases plummet to a new 6-week low but Delta variant still cause for concern

Taiwan’s Covid-19 cases plummet to a new 6-week low but Delta variant still cause for concern

After battling a rise in infections, Taiwan has reported its smallest daily increase of cases since May 15, after authorities imposed strict Covid restrictions. However, new confirmed Delta variant cases pose a risk to the island.

Taiwan reported 60 domestic coronavirus cases on Monday, the smallest number of cases in a month-and-a-half. In light of the positive indication that domestic Covid cases seem to be falling in Taiwan, the country’s Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said that “this is a good phenomenon” and seemed confident that cases in the country are really falling. 

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) released further details regarding the demographics of the recently infected. 26 of the cases are men, and 34 are women between the ages of 10-99 years old. The most infections are in New Taipei City and Taipei City (33 and 22 cases respectively).

While Covid-19 cases may be decreasing, the Delta variant that has plagued many corners of the world now presents itself as a new risk to Taiwan. The island confirmed its first domestically transmitted Delta case on Saturday, but it is reported that eight people in Pingtung county are infected with the variant at present.

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Taiwan further heightened its border controls on Sunday. The new measures require travelers from Delta hotspots, namely Bangladesh, the UK, Indonesia, Israel and Peru, to quarantine for 14 days in government facilities. This protocol has been in place for people entering Taiwan from Brazil and/or India. Travelers from other countries must still quarantine, however they are allowed to do this at home or in hotels.

The Delta variant – a strain of Covid-19 that is suspected of originating in India – is running rampant across the globe as its transmission rate is 60% higher than Covid’s common Alpha variant.

Taiwan managed to weather the pandemic remarkably well from when it first broke out until mid-May, when an alarming figure of 287 Covid cases were reported on May 16, as opposed to the highest daily figure at the beginning of April 2020, totaling 22 infections.

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Taiwan has recently increased its effort to vaccinate its population, as cases have been increasing domestically. Only 0.2% of the population is fully vaccinated at present.

Overall, Taiwan has reported 14,649 confirmed Covid cases since the start of the pandemic in 2020, and 635 related deaths.

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