BA.5 Variant Already Spreading in Taiwan: Experts 昨確診較上週同期增4.2% 估BA.5已散播

There were more than 24,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Taiwan on the 17th. Some doctors believe this means the BA.5 variant is spreading in the community. In addition, there are 100 cases of MIS-C among children, of which more than 60 percent are kids under 5 years old. Compared to other countries, MIS-C usually affects school-age children, most commonly 8- to 10-year-olds.

Taiwan recorded more than 24,000 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 4.2 percent over the same period last week. The Central Epidemic Command Center believes the epidemic will heat up in late August. Some doctors say that the BA.5 variant and the number of confirmed cases in neighboring countries have hit a new peak recently. It is impossible for Taiwan to stay clear of it. At present, a positive quick screening is considered a positive diagnosis in the country. The number of confirmed cases per day is estimated to be about 50,000 to 60,000 in the next wave of the BA.5 variant. The number of unconfirmed cases in the community will be probably even more.  

Chiang Kuan-yu, Physician, Integrated Healthcare Dept., Taipei City Hospital: “Rapid screening has replaced PCR tests. And it also depends on whether people are more aware of symptoms. We're now a little bit closer to that state of coexistence with the virus. Thus, catching those confirmed cases is not that strict, just like in other countries.”

In addition, the number of cases of the multi-system post-inflammatory group in children, referred to as MIS-C for short, has continued to increase. This year, the total number of cases has already reached 100. Among them, there are 62 cases under the age of 5, more than 60 percent. Compared to other countries, MIS-C usually affects school-age children, most commonly 8- to 10-year-olds. In this regard, some doctors believe that this is likely due to the fact that children under the age of 5 were vaccinated later.

Zen Lin, Chair, ROC Primary Care Association: “If one is infected, they will all be infected. But MIS-C is less common in those who have been vaccinated. Those without vaccinations are more prone to MIS-C. So I still think kids better get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The doctor emphasized that Taiwan's coverage rate of the booster has exceeded 70 percent. Combine this with the infection rate, herd immunity is at least 30 or 40 percent. However, the virus shouldn't be taken lightly. People over the age of 50 and under the age of 5 are considered at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Parents are urged to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce complications after infection.









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