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CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan reports 595 new COVID-19 cases, six deaths

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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung at the CECC press briefing on Monday. Photo courtesy of the CECC

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Taiwan on Monday reported 590 domestic COVID-19 cases, five new imported ones, and six deaths, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Of the domestic cases, 256 were from a backlog of confirmed test results over the past week.

The 590 domestic cases reported include 276 cases in New Taipei and 247 in Taipei. Taoyuan reported 25 cases, Changhua County 12, Taichung 8, Keelung 7, and Kaohsiung 5.

Tainan and Pingtung County reported three cases each, Miaoli County two cases, and Nantou and Hsinchu Counties each reported one.

The CECC has found that 200 of the patients had recently been to Wanhua District, an epicenter of the recent surge in domestic infections, and 34 patients had links to the hostess teahouses in the area.

Twelve cases were related to other clusters, including that involving a local Lions Club International organization in New Taipei, and a couple from Changhua County who sold fruit in Taipei and infected others in their community after returning.

Another 138 had "known infection sources", 101 had no links to existing clusters or cases, and 105 were under investigation, the CECC said.

Monday was the third consecutive day that the CECC has retroactively added cases to the past week's case count.

The CECC has said the backlog is being caused by a "bottleneck" in the reporting system due to the sudden rise in confirmed cases in recent days and cumbersome reporting procedures.

It has pledged to solve the issue by simplifying the reporting process and subsidizing laboratories to buy better equipment to process test results faster.

In addition to the domestic infections, Taiwan also confirmed five new imported COVID-19 cases on Monday from the Philippines, Nepal and India.

The new cases on Monday brought the total number in the country to 4,917, with over 3,500 confirmed as locally transmitted infections reported since May 15.

To date, 29 people have died of COVID-19 in Taiwan.

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