Taiwan reports record Covid-19 deaths with cases still elevated

Taiwan is battling its worst Covid-19 outbreak, which shows no sign of letting up after two weeks of soft lockdown measures. PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) - Taiwan's death toll jumped for a second day as the spreading Covid-19 outbreak showed no sign of letting up after two weeks of soft lockdown measures.

The health authorities reported a record 21 deaths and 486 newly confirmed domestic cases, according to a statement from the Taiwan Centres for Disease Control on Saturday (May 29).

Nineteen of the people who died had chronic underlying health conditions, Central Epidemic Command Centre adviser Chang Shan-chwen said at a briefing in Taipei.

Taiwan also added 166 new infections to previous daily tallies, its smallest backlog of cases since it first began revising past totals a week ago.

The shrinking backlog indicates that the authorities appear to be getting a grip on testing delays that have forced them to continually revise figures.

Taiwan is battling its worst outbreak of Covid-19, having made it through last year with few deaths or infections.

The soft lockdown has shuttered schools, bars and most public facilities, with restaurants allowed to serve only takeaways.

Officials have been working to speed up testing and reporting of results to avoid having to repeatedly tweak previous infection totals.

The delays had made it more difficult to accurately analyse the infection curve, and in turn the effectiveness of containment measures.

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