Taiwan reported a record 213 deaths from Covid-19 on Friday, though the number of new cases dropped to around 68,000, suggesting recovery from the current wave that hit in May. Cases have been on a steady decline since Tuesday, when more than 80,000 were reported. New infections logged on Friday totalled 68,311, of which 553 were severe cases. Infections had also moved from the north to southern and central cities such as Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taichung, the island’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said. The Covid-19 patients who died on Friday were aged from 40 to above 90, and 135 of them had yet to receive their third booster vaccine dose. Most of the deceased suffered from chronic illnesses. However, the continued rise in the Covid-19 death count comes amid a drop in the total number of new infections, which is in line with experts’ assessment of the island’s pandemic situation. 9-year-old boy among Taiwan’s Covid deaths as cases fall on island Professor Michael Lu, dean of the school of public health at the University of California, Berkeley, said the new caseload could come down after a holiday-induced rise over last week’s Dragon Boat Festival. “If these numbers represent a predictable blip after a major holiday in an overall downward trend that began a week ago, I expect the numbers to come down over the next few days,” Lu said on Thursday in response to a Post inquiry about this week’s infection spike. Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, chief of the University of Hong Kong’s infectious diseases division, said Friday’s record death toll was not alarming and in line with Taiwan’s progress towards natural immunity under its “ living with the virus ” policy. “When 50 per cent of the population has caught the virus, overall natural immunity will build up, then the number of new cases and death count will drop,” Hung explained, saying he expects a drop in both new infections and mortality rates in two to three weeks.