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Taiwan airport Covid cluster cases climb to 25

Taipei, Jan 10 (IANS) Taiwan reported 11 new locally-transmitted confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total confirmed cases related to the Taoyuan International Airport cluster infections to 25, health authorities announced.

The island's disease monitoring agency said the new confirmed cases include airport cleaners and staffers handling luggage carts, as well as a taxi driver tasked with taking passengers to and from quarantine facilities, and relatives of people who have contracted the disease.

Given the rising number of cases originating at the airport, over 8,000 airport workers are being tested to identify potential cases that have spread to communities, Xinhua news agency quoted the authorities as saying.

The current Level-2 Covid-19 alert, which was due to expire on Monday, will be extended for another two weeks to January 24, the monitoring agency noted.

The face mask mandate, which was tightened in Taoyuan earlier this week due to locally-transmitted infections identified at the airport, will now apply across the island, which means that people must wear masks when they exercise or take photos, for instance, it added.