Taiwan on Tuesday reported two Coronavirus-related deaths and 240 new locally transmitted cases, building on a worrying trend that has forced the closure of all schools for the next 10 days.
The two deceased patients include a woman in her 60s and a bed-ridden man with chronic diseases in a hospital in his 80s, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said.
The last time Taiwan reported a COVID-19 fatality was on April 24.
As of Tuesday, Taiwan, an island of 23.6 million people, has confirmed a total of 2,260 cases since the outbreak of the pandemic.
This included 1,121 locally transmitted cases, and 14 virus-related deaths, according to the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC).
Among the 240 new cases reported on Tuesday, 208 were in the Taipei metropolitan area in northern Taiwan, where stricter virus control measures were imposed on Saturday.
Patients in the area were infected by the variant that first emerged in Britain, according to the CECC.
Taiwan has seen the number of locally transmitted cases hit three digits for the past four days.
The surge of COVID-19 patients in northern Taiwan prompted the adoption of stricter virus control measures in other jurisdictions.
The Ministry of Education on Tuesday announced that schools nationwide will have to stay closed until May 28 to lower the risk of transmission.
The island’s low vaccination rate of less than 1 per cent is proving a test for the government, which won praise for containing the Coronavirus in 2020
Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday that her administration had helped two domestic vaccine providers to speed up the process to develop COVID-19 jabs, currently in clinical trials.