The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Taiwan have risen to 22 according to the nation’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) with two new cases added to the total in recent days.
Both are related to a taxi driver, since deceased, who initially fell sick in late January but only went to a hospital for treatment on February 3rd. Admitted with pneumonia the patient died on Saturday of “pneumonia-induced sepsis” according to a CECC report a day later.
The first is a nephew of the driver, a man in his 50s, who is known to have attended a family event on the day the driver first developed a cough, with the second the elderly mother of the deceased driver who was also in attendance.
Both developed coughs in the days after meeting the driver who was only diagnosed with COVID-19 just before his death. The nephew in what appears to be a family cluster was tested on Saturday and found to have been infected with the virus, but has not yet shown symptoms.
Yet, despite increased fears of a community-spread form of the virus following the announcement of the driver’s death, Taiwan’s vice-president Chen Chien-jen is reported to have claimed there is as of yet no “community-level transmission” according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
None of the three family members have any known travel history of late, although it is believed the driver did deal primarily with clients from China, Hong Kong and Macau according to Chen, before he went on to say it was “highly possible” the driver had picked up COVID-19 from one of his clients.