Taiwan has been one of the world’s pandemic success stories, and its case numbers remain low relative to outbreaks around the world. But Saturday’s cases, which bring its total number so far to about 1,470 among a population of 24 million, mark the highest rates of community transmission since the pandemic began. Until now almost all of Taiwan’s cases were detected in new arrivals held in hotel quarantine. Of the 180 cases, 132 were reportedly without a known source. There were 89 were recorded in Taipei city, 75 in New Taipei and the rest scattered in other counties.
The current wave is believed to have jumped to the community from staff at China Airlines and an airport quarantine hotel late last month. In the past fortnight at least 265 cases have been diagnosed – more than 77% of Taiwan’s total number of local cases since the pandemic began.