Saturday 10/16/21
CORONAVIRUS

Taiwan tightens virus measures as locally transmitted cases rise

The Ministry of Economic Affairs advised supermarkets to take measures to ease panic-buying frenzies, such as allowing each consumer to buy only two packages of toilet paper or instant noodles, for example.
15 May 2021, Taiwan, Taipei: People shop the necessities and food at a supermarket. Taiwan on Saturday tightened measures to contain the coronavirus for two weeks after it reported 180 locally transmitted cases, a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic. Photo: Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMA Wire/dpa
People shop the necessities and food at a supermarket in Taipei. Photo: Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/dpa.
Taiwan on Saturday tightened measures to contain the coronavirus for two weeks after it reported 180 locally transmitted cases, a record daily high since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Centre, told a news conference that, until May 28, all recreational facilities and sports centres should stay closed. 

All religious pilgrimage activities will also be banned, and all school campuses will not open to the public.

Meanwhile, tougher measures were imposed for two weeks on 7 million residents in the Taipei metropolitan area in northern Taiwan as a sharp rise of locally transmitted coronavirus cases was observed.

Residents in the area, which includes both the capital, Taipei City, and New Taipei City, must wear masks at all times time outdoors, according to Chen.

To lower the risk of infection through close contact, in the Taipei metropolitan area, outdoor and indoor family and social gatherings with more than 10 and five participants, respectively, are banned, according to Chen. All libraries and venues for exhibitions, sports, games, concerts and mass gatherings will have to stay closed.

Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang said that medical resources and personal protective equipment are sufficient.

As of Saturday, Taiwan, with a population of 23.6 million, has only reported 1,475 cases of Covid-19, including 344 that were locally transmitted, and 12 deaths since the pandemic began.

According to Chen, the new Covid-19 patients reported on Saturday include 68 males and 112 females aged from under 5 years old to into their 80s. Among them, 89 patients live in Taipei City and 75 in New Taipei City.

Citizens urged to stay at home

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je urged citizens to stay home as much as possible, saying the infection rate will become manageable in two weeks as most people in Taiwan are willing to wear masks and follow preventive instructions.

In the following two weeks, residents in the Taipei metropolitan area are still allowed to go to school, work and hospital. However, online schooling and remote working are strongly encouraged.

They are also required to provide their names before entering restaurants and supermarkets, for example, or attending essential gatherings such as weddings and funerals.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said the supply of everyday goods remains sufficient and advised supermarkets to take measures to ease panic-buying frenzies, such as allowing each consumer to buy only two packages of toilet paper or instant noodles, for example.

Due to some locally transmitted cases with unknown sources of infection, Taiwan on May 11 introduced tougher preventive measures nationwide to contain the coronavirus, in place until June 8.

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