Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Health Minister Chen Shih-chung expressed concern about the trajectory of Taiwan's current COVID-19 outbreak after the country reported 555 domestic cases and 19 deaths on Friday.
With the latest adjustments, "the overall trend (of new cases) is flat, and that is not a very good sign. The outbreak is plateauing, but we haven't seen (the numbers) begin to fall," said Chen, who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Of the domestic cases reported on Friday, 297 were newly confirmed cases and 258 were from a backlog of test results that the CECC has been announcing over the last week.
New Taipei and Taipei continued to account for the majority of local infections, reporting 277 and 208 cases, respectively, the CECC said.
Meanwhile, Taoyuan reported 22 cases, Taichung had 10, while Hualien and Changhua each reported nine cases and Keelung and Tainan each reported six.
Chiayi had two cases, while one case each was reported in Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Pingtung, Taitung, Nantou and Kaohsiung, the CECC said.
The CECC said it had linked nine of the cases to a cluster involving hostess teahouses in Taipei's Wanhua District, while 110 of the cases had recently visited the Wanhua area.
Another 182 of the cases had a known origin of infection, while 143 had "unclear links" to other cases and 111 were still under investigation, the CECC said.
Friday was the seventh consecutive day on which the CECC had retroactively added cases -- totaling 1,906 to date -- to the daily case totals going back to May 14.
Currently, the daily totals show peaks of 533 and 525 cases on May 17 and May 19, followed by nine straight days of figures in the 400s and 297 new cases on Friday.
However, that figure could also be expected to rise, as the CECC on Friday added 72 cases and 60 cases to its respective tallies for Wednesday and Thursday.
In addition to the domestic cases, the CECC also reported two imported cases involving a Taiwanese boy who returned from Australia on Wednesday and a woman from the Philippines who arrived in the country on May 14.
The 19 deaths reported on Friday were 14 men and five women aged in their 40s to their 80s, who died between May 21 and May 27, the CECC said.
The newly reported deaths brought the total in the county to 78, including 49 in the last four days.
To date, Taiwan has reported a total of 7,315 COVID-19 cases, of which over 5,500 are locally transmitted cases reported since May 15.
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