The man was found to have come into contact with the victim through his cab service, the day he returned from China on Jan. 22, the CECC said.
Results of two subsequent tests carried out by National Taiwan University Hospital and Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution, showed Thursday that the man's blood contained the virus' antibody, indicating that at one point in time he was infected, the center explained.
The driver was the 19th confirmed case in Taiwan, and the first to die from COVID 19 in the country last Sunday. He also passed on the virus to four relatives during a family gathering on Jan. 27.
The CECC said 248 people were identified as having come into contact with the businessman, of whom 217 have so far tested negative for the virus while 26 other results are pending.
Concerning the 24th confirmed case in Taiwan, Health Minister Chen Shih chung (???), who heads the CECC, said Thursday that the health authority was able to pinpoint 352 people who came into contact with the female patient, who is in her 60s and lives in northern Taiwan.
Among them, 118 were people she encountered when out of her home, while nine are family members and the remainder hospital workers when she sought medical attention for a fever and cough from Jan. 22 and Jan. 29.
So far, 111 have tested negative for the virus, Chen said.
The latest case also marks a first for Taiwan in that it is unknown how the woman was infected with COVID 19, despite having no history of overseas travel for the past two years.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States included Taiwan, alongside Japan Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam Wednesday, on a list of destinations with an apparent community spread of the Wuhan virus.
"Community spread means people have been infected with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. At this time, the extent of virus spread is not sustained or widespread enough to meet the criteria for a travel notice," the U.S. authority posted on its website.
On Thursday, President Tsai Ing wen (???) indicated that coronavirus incidences in the country are considered sporadic cases that should not be classified as community level transmission.
The health minister and Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), have already urged the CDC in the U.S. to remove Taiwan from its warning list.
Community spread ofthe virus can only be declared when four criteria are met in Taiwan, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (???) said, noting that they include when health authorities fail to identify the source of infection of confirmed cases, when there are far more indigenous cases of the virus than imported cases, when there is a continuous chain of infection and when there are widespread cluster cases.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel