Taiwan reports highest daily jump in new virus cases, all imported

People wear face masks to protect against the coronavirus as they pray at the Longshan Temple in Taipei. (AP pic)

TAIPEI: Taiwan reported six new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, all imported and marking the biggest daily rise in infections, in people who had returned to the island from countries including Spain and Japan, bringing its total tally to 59.

The government is working on tracking down all the people who had contact with the new cases, it said in a statement.

The other countries those infected had travelled to were Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Thailand, while two of the patients had transited in Dubai, the government added.

While Taiwan has won plaudits from international experts for its early prevention measures to stop the spread of the virus, it has now stepped up measures to stop cases being brought back to the island from other countries.

On Saturday the island said it would begin requiring a 14-day quarantine for all people arriving from Europe’s Schengen border-free travel zone as well as Britain and Ireland.

Taiwan has only reported one death from the virus, while 20 have recovered and been released from hospital. The other cases are all in stable condition.

Taiwan’s health minister has advised people not to travel at all and to stay in Taiwan.