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Among Omicron cases identified yesterday through genome sequencing, seven belong to a Taiwanese karate team that returned from Kazakhstan
By Lee I-chia / Journalist
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 19 imported cases of COVID-19 and 14 newly confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) deputy director general Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), spokesperson for the CECC, said the imported cases are nine men and 10 women who arrived from Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Laos and Switzerland. , Turkey, the United States and Vietnam.
The Kazakhstan case is a Taiwanese woman in her twenties who traveled there to attend the Asian Karate Championships with a 22-person national team.
Twelve members of the team have already tested positive for COVID-19 and were reported as confirmed cases on Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, genome sequencing results showed that 14 previously reported imported cases were infected with the Omicron variant, Chuang said, adding that a total of 48 imported Omicron cases have so far been identified in Taiwan.
Of the 14 new Omicron cases identified yesterday, seven are members of the Taiwanese karate team who returned from Kazakhstan, he said.
Of the karate team’s 13 COVID-19 cases, two had received a dose of the vaccine and 11 had received a second dose between July and last month, Chuang said.
The center would ask the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to comment on whether national sports teams traveling abroad should be allowed to receive a booster sooner than necessary after their second dose, he said.
Members of the karate team would be interviewed to determine possible causes of the infection, he added.
As the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) recommended Monday that the isolation time for people who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms be reduced from 10 days to five, requiring them to wearing a mask around others for another five days, the CCCB was asked if Taiwan could also shorten the isolation and quarantine times.
As the US CDC had just released the statement, the center would review related reference material and discuss it with the expert advisory group, Chuang said.
He said 53,558 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Monday, bringing the country’s first-dose vaccination rate to 79.83%, the second-dose rate to 67.26% and the third-dose rate to 0.45%.
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