Taipei, Feb 17 : Taiwan confirmed two new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 20, and reported the first death caused by the epidemic, the island's epidemic monitoring agency said Sunday.
One of the two new cases was a man in his 60s living in central Taiwan who had cough on January 27 and had been diagnosed pneumonia and hospitalised since February 3. He died of pneumonia and septicemia on February 15, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Since the man had not left Taiwan before he was ill nor have close contacts with any confirmed infection cases, he had not been subject to the novel coronavirus infection test until his death, the agency said.
The case was identified due to a large-scale review of serious flu-like cases dating back to January 31, launched by the island's health authorities. A total of 113 cases had been put for novel coronavirus infection tests since February 12 and only this one was confirmed, the agency said.
The authorities are investigating the actual infection source of the man, who allegedly had been a taxi driver.
The other new infection case is a male relative of the deceased man, who has had no symptoms as of now and stayed in an isolation ward, the agency said.
The authorities have identified 79 people having close contacts with the two men.