Taiwan investigates possible first local coronavirus case in two months

Life in Taiwan has generally carried on as normal with none of the lockdowns seen in other parts of the world.
Life in Taiwan has generally carried on as normal with none of the lockdowns seen in other parts of the world.ST PHOTO: KATHERINE WEI

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan has put more than 100 people under quarantine while it investigates its first possible local case of coronavirus infection in more than two months, a Japanese woman who tested positive last week, the government said on Wednesday (June 24).

Taiwan's early and effective response has kept the pandemic at bay, with just 446 infections and seven deaths, the majority of cases being imported and having already recovered.

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Centre said Japan notified them on Tuesday that the woman, who arrived on the island as a student in late February, tested positive after returning to Japan last Saturday, though she was asymptomatic.

More than 100 people who had contact with her in Taiwan have been placed under quarantine, it added.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters in Taipei that the authorities were awaiting further details before formally classifying the case, but that it could have been acquired while she was in Taiwan and he could not rule out local transmission.

"Taiwan has already seen 73 days with no local cases, but we must still raise our vigilance," he added.

Taiwan effectively closed its borders to most foreigners in mid-March, and has been extremely cautious about reopening them in case of a second wave of infections.

Life in Taiwan has generally carried on as normal with none of the lockdowns seen in other parts of the world, though the government has encouraged social distancing and face masks are widely worn in public.