Taiwan's COVID-19 death rate is curently standing at 0.04 percent and will keep rising, according to CECC commander Chen Shih-chung. Chen said he hopes it doesn't rise above 0.1 percent while experts say timely oral antirival treatment and the vaccination of the fourth doses are pivotal.
Taiwan has reported 483 severe COVID-19 cases and 382 deaths so far this year. According to the Central Epidemic Command Center, the death rate in April rose between 0.03 percent to 0.033 percent to 0.04 percent now. Chen Shih-chung says the death rate will keep climbing and he hopes it doesn't rise above 0.1 percent. Doctors say keeping the death rate below 0.1 percent will require expanded rapid testing, timely prescriptions and second boosters for the elderly to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in long-term care facilities.
Huang Li-min, Honorary Chair, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “It would save a lot of time if people can get their medication immediately after a positive rapid test. Many people have already been infected for two or three days by the time they test positive, and time is of the essence. The medicine is more effective when taken earlier. The groups that are at the highest risk are long-term care facility residents and seniors. If you have a senior at home, you need to be especially careful to keep them safe. We also encourage (seniors) to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Three of the seven severe pediatric cases in Taiwan so far have developed encephalitis. One doctor says there was also an encephalitis-related Omicron death previously reported in Hong Kong. With three such cases reported in rapid succession in Taiwan, the CECC says it will start conducting research and analysis as soon as possible.
Chiu Cheng-hsun, Vice Superintendent, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital: “Just because you don't see it being reported in other countries doesn't mean (encephalitis) isn't happening. Children that have tested positive (for COVID-19) that develop persistent high fevers and convulsions or that appear lethargic in the absence of fever or have any mental or behavioral changes should see a doctor as soon as possible.”
Doctors say COVID-19 can be fatal in children and the best way to protect unvaccinated children is to make sure all other members of the household are vaccinated.