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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 31, 2024  3 weeks, 3 days, 23 hours, 7 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: JN.1 Causing Health Crisis In Taiwan. 16,484 New Infections In Last 24 Hours, 546 Hospitalization And 64 Deaths Last Week.

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COVID-19 News: JN.1 Causing Health Crisis In Taiwan. 16,484 New Infections In Last 24 Hours, 546 Hospitalization And 64 Deaths Last Week.
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 31, 2024  3 weeks, 3 days, 23 hours, 7 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: In a startling turn of events, Taiwan is facing a severe health crisis as the JN.1 subvariant of COVID-19 tightens its grip on the nation. Over the past 24 hours, a staggering 16,484 new infections have been reported, catapulting the total cases to unprecedented levels.

JN.1 Causing Health Crisis In Taiwan. 

Shockingly, the last week witnessed 546 hospitalizations and a grim toll of 64 COVID-19-related deaths, marking the highest weekly number in five months. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified the JN.1 subvariant as the dominant strain, accounting for 52 percent of sequenced cases.
The surge in cases has placed immense strain on Taiwan's healthcare system, with hospitals struggling to accommodate the influx of patients. Intensive care units are operating at maximum capacity, and healthcare workers are facing burnout as they tirelessly battle the relentless onslaught of the virus.
Chinese New Year Threat
The Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year festivities which officially starts on the 10th of February is likely to contribute to an upsurge in cases as people in Taiwan go shopping and making preparations days before the celebrations and reunions and gatherings are a main focus of the celebrations.
Epidemic Intelligence Center’s Perspective
Dr Guo Hung-Wei, Director of the Taiwanese CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center, provided insight into the evolving situation. He disclosed that 79 percent of reported cases involve elderly individuals aged 65 or older, highlighting the heightened vulnerability of this demographic. SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance data revealed the prevalence of the JN.1 subvariant at 52 percent, indicating its rapid spread within the community. The dominance of the JN.1 strain has raised concerns among health experts due to its increased transmissibility and potential for severe illness.
Tragic Loss and Alarming Flu Complications
Adding to the distressing scenario, the Taiwanese CDC reported a concerning spike in flu cases, resulting in a tragic loss of life. Last week, there were 40 severe flu complications and eight flu-related deaths, including the heartbreaking demise of a three-year-old girl due to respiratory failure. Dr Liu Yu-cheng, a CDC physician, revealed that the young girl had not received a flu vaccination this season, emphasizing the vulnerability of children to severe complications from infections.
The surge in flu cases has further strained healthcare resources, with hospitals facing shortages of critical supplies and medications. Health authorities are urging the public to prioritize flu vaccinations to mitigate the risk of severe illness and reduce the burden on healthcare facilities.
Urgent Call for Vigilance and Vaccination
In light of the escalating crisis, the CDC issued an urgent call for vigilance and vaccination. Deputy Director-General Philip Lo warned of an impending peak in both flu-like illness and COVID-19 cases following the Lunar New Year holiday. Encouraging vaccination, he announced the arrival of a new batch of Novavax's vaccine and urged citizens to get the XBB.1.5-COVID-19 adapted vaccine.
Community engagement and public awareness campaigns are underway to address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. Health authorities are working tirelessly to ensure equitable access to vaccines and promote vaccination as a crucial tool in controlling the spread of the virus.
Preventive Measures and Subsidies for Hospitals
As part of preventive measures, over 580,000 packs of government-funded free COVID-19 rapid test kits have been distributed at international airports and harbors. With an expected influx of travelers before the Lunar New Year, free test kits will also be provided at specific harbor locations. In an effort to ensure medical support during the holiday, the CDC is offering subsidies to hospitals willing to have doctors available for treating respiratory infection diseases.

The subsidies aim to incentivize healthcare institutions to prioritize the provision of care during the holiday period, ensuring that patients receive timely and appropriate treatment. Hospitals are encouraged to implement robust infection control measures and bolster their capacity to manage COVID-19 cases effectively.
Stark Revelation-90% of Population Likely Infected
A local COVID-19 News coverage reported that the Taiwanese CDC had disclosed that at least 90 percent of Taiwan's population has likely contracted COVID-19.
Citing a seroprevalence study conducted last year, the coverages claimed that Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun revealed that around 80 percent of randomly selected blood donation samples from January to June showed evidence of prior COVID-19 exposure. Given the recent surge in cases, the Taiwanese CDC estimates that approximately 90 percent of the population has been infected.
Despite prior infections, Taiwanese CDC officials emphasized the importance of the latest XBB.1.5 vaccine, citing the rapid evolution and strong transmissibility of the virus. They cautioned that prior infection does not guarantee lifelong immunity and urged the public to prioritize enhanced protection through vaccination. The nation braces for a challenging period ahead, with health authorities urging citizens to adhere to safety protocols and vaccination guidelines to curb the escalating crisis.
As Taiwan grapples with the unprecedented health crisis, solidarity, and collective action are essential in overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic. Health authorities are working tirelessly to contain the spread of the virus, mitigate the impact on healthcare services, and protect the health and well-being of the population. With concerted efforts and unwavering determination, Taiwan remains steadfast in its fight against COVID-19.
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.


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