Taiwan's Covid-19 cases fall to month-and-a-half low

TAIPEI (REUTERS) – Taiwan reported on Monday (June 28) its lowest daily rise in domestic Covid-19 infections in 1-½  months, as the island’s outbreak stabilises, although the government remains wary about a cluster of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Taiwan has been battling a rare spike in community transmissions after months of relative safety, with curbs imposed last month on gatherings to limit its spread.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told a daily news briefing that new domestic cases stood at 60, down from 88 the previous day.

It was the smallest rise in the daily figure since May 15, when the government raised the alert level for Taipei and its neighbouring city after a sudden spike of 180 domestic cases from just 29 on May 14.

“Cases of the disease are definitely going down,” Mr Chen said. “This is a good phenomenon.”

But the smaller rise in new cases could also be connected to fewer tests being taken over the weekend, he added, urging people not to let down their guard and continue to limit going outdoors or meeting others.

“If there’s nothing special going on, don’t go out,” he added.

Mass testing is continuing in a part of the southern county of Pingtung, where eight people have been infected with the Delta variant, connected to two people who returned from Peru, though Mr Chen said there were no new cases.

Taiwan has been trying to hasten its vaccination programme which has been hampered by global shortages, and Mr Chen said more shots from Moderna Inc would arrive on Wednesday, but he did not give details.

The government has also been in talks with Novavax Inc for its shot, Chen added. Novavax said last week its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective.

Taiwan has reported 14,694 infections since the pandemic began, including 635 deaths, while 8 per cent of the island’s 23.5 million people have had at least one of the two shot vaccine regimen.

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