Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Taiwan on Wednesday reported 275 cases of COVID-19, all but one of which were domestic infections, as well as 25 deaths from the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Wednesday was also the third consecutive day of case totals in the 200s, showing that the outbreak is now in a "relatively stable" period, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at a press conference.
Despite this trend, the public should still try to avoid any unnecessary travel during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday this weekend, given that the risk of transmission remains high, Chen said.
More than half of the domestic infections on Wednesday were in New Taipei, which reported 162 cases, followed by Taipei with 63 cases, Taoyuan with 15 and Miaoli with 12.
Keelung confirmed 10 new cases, while Changhua and Nantou each reported three and Yilan reported two. One case each was reported in Chiayi, Tainan, Taichung, and Hsinchu County.
Of the 49 cases outside of Taipei and New Taipei, 43 had a known source of infection, while six had unclear links to other cases, the CECC said.
The one imported case was that of a Taiwanese man, who arrived in the country from India on Monday, according to the CECC.
The new cases bring the total number in Taiwan to 11,968, of which over 10,500 have been domestic infections recorded since May 15, when the country reported over 100 cases in a single day for the first time since COVID-19 appeared in Taiwan in early 2020.
Meanwhile, the CECC reported 25 deaths on Wednesday, raising the total to 333 since the outbreak began, including 321 since May 15.
The newly reported fatalities were 20 men and five women, aged in their 50s to their 90s, who died between May 29 and June 7, the CECC said.
Regarding the deaths, CECC official Lo Yi-chung said that 35 of the 296 fatalities reported between May 11 and Tuesday involved people who died before being admitted to a hospital, accounting for 11.8 percent of the total.
According to Lo, a number of these deaths may have been caused by silent hypoxia, a condition in which patients' oxygen saturation level drops without them being aware of a shortness of breath.
He said the CECC has been working this week to ensure that all COVID-19 patients can be admitted to a hospital or quarantine center with on-site medical staff, rather than being isolated at home.
The CECC has been forced to send some people confirmed to be infected to isolate themselves at home because of a lack of beds and quarantine center space to accommodate COVID-19 patients.
Both Taipei and New Taipei met this goal for cases confirmed on Monday, he said.
In addition, the CECC on Wednesday distributed 15,000 home blood oxygen monitors to local governments, mainly in Greater Taipei, so that any patients who are staying at home can closely monitor their condition, Lo said.