Taiwan reported 274 local COVID cases, 1 imported case, and 25 deaths on Wednesday. Officials also warned of a worrying symptom called silent hypoxia, which is showing up in some COVID patients. Patients who have silent hypoxia don''t know that their blood oxygen level is dropping -- they don''t experience shortness of breath or other respiratory distress as oxygen levels drop. Officials believe that silent hypoxia is what led to the sudden death of five people whose cases were announced the day before.

Philip Lo
CECC’s medical response division
This form of hypoxia does not have obvious signs. Usually, it is only when the blood oxygen level is already very low and the clinical state is extremely grave that the patient seeks medical attention. By then, it is already so late in the disease’s progression. So our hope is for all confirmed cases to be moved from the home into a facility or a hospital.

In greater Taipei, all cases diagnosed on Tuesday have been placed in hospitals or quarantine facilities for observation. In addition, more than 10,000 pulse oximeters will be distributed nationwide, so that COVID patients can monitor their blood oxygen levels and get medical help when they need it.