Taiwan’s health minister was among the new coronavirus cases on the island reported on Sunday as the daily tally of infections fell. The island reported 50,657 new cases and 163 deaths on Sunday, down from 79,598 cases and 211 deaths a day earlier. All but 14 of the new cases were locally transmitted. The Central Epidemic Command Centre also said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung tested positive for the virus with a rapid test. Chen will remain at home to recover. Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said President Tsai Ing-wen had not met Chen in person recently, opting instead to discuss epidemic prevention over the phone. The command centre said other officials, including the head of the epidemic monitoring team, who had recently been in contact with Chen had tested negative. The fatalities ranged in age from 30 to above 90, and 151 had chronic illnesses. Centre spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang said 110 of those who died had not received a booster vaccine dose and 74 had not had any vaccine shots. The youngest death was that of a 30-year-old man who had received three doses of vaccine and died at home seven days after being diagnosed. He was a diabetic and the cause of death was pneumonia combined with respiratory failure, the centre said. There were no new deaths or serious cases among children, but six children were moderately ill. Since January, Taiwan has reported 10,064 moderate to severe cases of Covid-19, and 3,318 deaths. The centre urged the public to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible, take personal precautions to minimise spread of the disease, and reduce unnecessary activities and gatherings. Premier Su Tseng-chang said Taiwan would gradually open up in accordance with epidemic control conditions, with the goal of allowing Taiwanese to return to normal life and travel abroad as soon as possible. Visiting a hospital in Pingtung county in the morning, Su expressed his support for the medical staff, saying “our epidemic controls are going step by step to the most critical moment before the resumption of normal life, but we cannot relax at all”. Taiwan has been battling a surge in cases since the end of April. Health authorities have said the daily new case numbers could drop below 10,000 by the end of June, but not below 1,000 a day.