MANILA - Taiwan health authorities on Tuesday said they confirmed 5 new patients of the novel coronavirus, 4 of whom had travel history to the Philippines, one of Asian countries severely hit by the deadly disease.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), in a statement, identified the 4 as cases 463, 465, 466, and 467. The other, case 464, came from Hong Kong.
The 5 patients have been sent to isolation by Taiwan authorities.
According to the MOHW, case 463 is a 50-year-old man who worked in the Philippines last March. On July 21, the patient developed fever, cough, abnormal smell, diarrhea, and general fatigue.
"He went to the local doctor for medical examination on the 24th. However, no inspection report was received," the MOHW said.
Health authorities said case 645 is a 30-year-old man, who also worked in the Philippines. He developed "abnormal" smell and taste, cough, sore throat and muscle aches on June 19 and went to a hospital on the same day for rapid tests. He tested negative for the virus then.
"Because the local hospital did not prescribe medicines, he only took cold medicine by himself. The case was voluntarily informed that he had symptoms when he returned," the MOHW said.
Cases 466 and 467 were identified as a couple in their 70s who went to the Philippines to visit relatives last January.
"Case 467 developed fever, cough, and wheezing on July 12. The symptoms were relieved after self-administered medication," the MOHW said. "Case 466 had no symptoms when entering the country. Case 467 reported that they had symptoms before boarding and when entering the country."
The 4 cases returned to Taiwan on the same flight on July 26, health officials said. They are now conducting contract tracing.
Based on data from the Central Epidemic Command Center, Taiwan has now 21 imported infections from the Philippines this July due to the 4 new cases from the Southeast Asian country, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.
Taiwan has logged a total of 467 COVID-19 cases, ever since the deadly disease first emerged in China in late 2019. The Philippines meanwhile has logged more than 83,000 infections.