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Taiwan reports local cases of Omicron

IANS | January 04, 2022 07:14 PM

TAIPEI:Two Covid infections in Taiwan that had been considered imported have been reclassified as local and determined to be caused by the Omicron variant, media reports said.

While as per Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) data, the country now has 89 confirmed imported cases of Omicron, the two cases marks Taiwan's first reported local cases of the highly transmissible strain, Taiwan News reported.

A cluster infection in a Taipei epidemic prevention hotel was found to have been caused by the Omicron variant, CECC chief Chen Shih-chung, was quoted as saying at a press conference.

After an epidemiological investigation, the two imported cases at the hotel that were announced on December 28 and 30, have been re-diagnosed as local cases.

"With the emergence of domestic cases, everyone must stay vigilant, " Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in a post on Facebook on Tuesday.

He added that epidemic prevention measures had been tightened at the airport, the Guardian reported.

"Most importantly, please get a vaccination as soon as possible."

Taiwan initially kept the pandemic well under control because of early and effective prevention, including largely closing its borders. But the island struggled with an outbreak of domestic infections in the middle of 2021.

Another person, a cleaner working at the island's main international airport, was "likely" to be infected with the Omicron variant, Health Minister Shih-chung said.

He added the new cases had put "a lot of pressure" on the government's efforts against the pandemic.

Taiwan has vaccinated about 70 per cent of its 23.5 million people and the government is offering incentives such as shopping coupons to boost the uptake, the report said.

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