Taiwan was investigating on Tuesday its first probable local case of the coronavirus infection in over a month, a Thai man who was tested positive last week, as the island also faces a rise in the cases brought from overseas.
The early response was effective in keeping the outbreak in control, with only 467 cases and seven deaths. The majority of the cases have been imported and they recovered as well.
Until the Thai man's positive test, the island had not seen a local case of coronavirus infection since June 24. Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Centre said it was probing where and how the man contracted the virus. The migrant worker arrived on the island in January and tested positive on July 25, shortly after returning to Thailand.
COVID-19 in Taiwan
More than 180 people who had contact with him in Taiwan have undergone health screenings, the center said. "We will make all necessary checks, clarifying how he got infected and whether there is a possibility for further contagion," the center's deputy chief, Chuang Jen-hsiang, told reporters in Taipei.
Taiwan also reported five new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, all imported and marking the biggest daily rise in infections since mid-April. The new cases were people who had returned to Taiwan from the Philippines and Hong Kong. Taiwan has largely closed its borders since mid-March and the government has been cautious about reopening them in case of the second wave of infections. It now has only 20 active cases.
Life in Taiwan has been less disrupted than in countries with strict lockdowns. The government, though, has encouraged social distancing and face masks are widely worn in public.
(With agency inputs)