Taiwan has reportedly confirmed the first death on the island from the deadly COVID19, making it the fifth fatality outside mainland China since the global coronavirus pandemic.
Health Minister of Taiwan, Chen Shih-Chung, told the media that the 61-year-old man was a taxi driver who was suffering from diabetes and hepatitis B and had eventually contracted the Coronavirus. The minister added that Taiwan has accumulated 20 confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus till date.
Chen further added that the deceased had not travelled abroad and was presumably infection via human transmission as he was a cab driver whose clients were mainly from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. One of the family members of the Taiwanese driver has also tested positive to the COVID19, confirmed the minister.
The pair constituted Taiwan’s first local transmission cases, the minister told the international media, adding that the health authorities were in the process of investigating the source of contraction of the disease. So far, the contact history of the patient has not been discovered, said Chen, and the health officials were actively inspecting the scenarios, hoping to find out the source of the contraction.
The government reportedly announced that on Monday, February 17, the island will commence testing all the patients who depict chronic symptoms associated with Coronavirus or had travelled abroad recently. Taiwan has reportedly placed a travel ban on the Chinese visitors and foreigners with a recent history of travel to China, and the island has suspended most flights back-and-forth to mainland China.
According to the reports, the government of Taiwan has scrambled to build several mask production lines over the fears of the spread of the COVID19 with first death reported on the island. Premier Su Tseng-chang has vowed to more than double its daily mask production to 10 million.