TAIPEI, May 23 — A one-year-old boy has become Taiwan's youngest Covid--19 fatality after falling into a coma while taking a nap and never regaining consciousness, according to the Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) today.

Central news agency (CNA) reported deputy head of the CECC's medical response division, Lo Yi-chun, said at a press briefing that the boy, who did not have any known underlying medical conditions, was taken to a hospital when he could not be woken from his nap.

He had no signs of life when he arrived at the hospital and could not be resuscitated, Lo said.

Though the boy had some bluish coloration (cyanosis) in his limbs, a more thorough examination did not discover any bruises or signs of trauma and also did not find any signs of myocarditis or other heart issues, Lo said.

When the boy was tested for Covid-19, however, the results came back positive with a cycle threshold (CT) value of around nine -- indicating a relatively recent infection -- and he was therefore determined to have died of the disease, Lo said.

The boy was the youngest person to die of Covid--19 in Taiwan since the pandemic began. He was one of two toddlers reported on Monday to have lost their life to the disease, the other being a three-year-old boy, according to CNA.

The three-year-old tested positive for Covid--19 at home using a rapid test on May 16, when he had a 38-degree Celsius fever, Lo said.

He then got a PCR test at a hospital and was sent home, but he returned the next day with a 41.3-degree fever and signs of cyanosis, and after losing consciousness and having spasms while in the emergency room, he was put into intensive care, it reported.

With those two deaths, the number of children in Taiwan under the age of 10 who have died of Covid-19 increased to four, with three of them found to have encephalitis.

Lo urged parents to watch out for several symptoms in their children that could indicate inflammation of the brain.

They include a fever of 41 degrees and higher, decreased consciousness, seizures, myoclonic jerks, unsteady steps, persistent headaches, vomiting, or sleeping for a long time, according to Lo. — Bernama