Taiwan detects 1st locally transmitted omicron cases

2 infections part of 3-case cluster involving Taiwanese nationals who returned from China, US, Japan last monthb

Taiwan detects 1st locally transmitted omicron cases

Taiwan has recorded its first two locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus omicron variant, authorities said on Tuesday.

The two omicron infections are “part of a three-case cluster involving Taiwanese nationals who returned to Taiwan between Dec. 14 and Dec. 22 from China, the US and Japan,” according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The number of omicron cases in Taiwan is now above 50, with most of them being people who traveled from the US.

The CECC also confirmed that two schools in the self-ruled island’s northwestern Taoyuan city have been closed over fears of COVID-19 transmission.

The precautionary measure was taken because family members of an infected woman attend the schools, according to local news outlet Focus Taiwan.

The woman, a worker at an international airport in Taoyuan, was fully vaccinated, the report said, and it is not yet known if she is a carrier of the omicron strain.

Her family has tested negative for the virus, it added.

Three people working at the same airport in Taoyuan were among four new domestic COVID-19 cases reported by Taiwan on Tuesday.

With a strong anti-virus response, Taiwan has largely managed to prevent a major outbreak since the start of the pandemic, barring a brief surge on the island last May.

Its overall case tally to date stands at 17,095, including 850 deaths, according to official data.