TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan reported 312 new confirmed cases on Friday as part of its worst outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says most of the cases have a clear source, but 72 of the new ones were not apparently linked to the previous infections. Chen urged the island’s residents to refrain from socializing and stay at home.
“On these two days, if everyone can reduce the flow of people to the lowest level, and if then we can gradually cut the line of transmission, it will be greatly helpful to us,” he told a daily briefing.
Taiwan raised its alert level this week, banning indoor gatherings of more than five people and outdoor gatherings of more than 10. Schools are shut for two weeks, and many are working from home.
More than 600,000 people are in quarantine.
The majority of the cases have been discovered in Taipei, the capital, and neighboring New Taipei city. Taiwan has reported an average of 200 to 300 cases in the last week alone, and has recorded a total of 3,139 confirmed cases.