Taipei, June 11 (CNA) Taiwan reported 287 new COVID-19 cases Friday and 24 new deaths while Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) repeated a call for people not to travel on the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend holiday that starts Saturday.
All but one of the cases were community transmissions in Taiwan.
New Taipei reported 120 cases, the highest number, followed by Miaoli County with 56 and Taipei with 49, according to statistics released by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Taoyuan reported 19, Hsinchu County 12, Keelung eight, Changhua County seven, and Taichung four, while three each were reported in Yilan County and Hsinchu City.
Yunlin County and Hualien County each reported two new cases, and Tainan reported one, CECC statistics showed.
Meanwhile, the one case classified as imported involved a Thai worker in his 30s, according to the CECC.
Noting the rising number of cases outside Taipei and New Taipei, Chen said during a press conference that people should remain vigilant, and he advised against travel during the upcoming three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday.
Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), who also attended the press conference, said traffic control measures will be in place starting from 9 p.m. Friday to limit the number of cars on Taiwan’s freeways during the long weekend.
There was a significant drop in bookings for tickets on high speed rail, state-run rail services and long haul buses for the upcoming holiday, at about 65,795, compared to an average of 4.65 million bookings recorded for previous long holidays, Wang said.
Also on Friday, the CECC reported 24 deaths — 12 men and 12 women — aged 50 to 90, who passed away between June 2 and June 9. This brought the total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country to 385.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 12,500 COVID-19 cases, over 11,000 of which are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.
Taiwan has been on a nationwide Level 3 COVID-19 alert since May 19, and it has been extended twice to June 28.
Schools are closed, with online learning taking place instead, while wearing a face mask is mandatory outside one’s home.