A Taipei resident who had breached his home quarantine order was found on Tuesday night in an Internet cafe and fined NT$1 million (US$32,976), Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday, as the Taipei City Government announced a short-term COVID-19 relief plan.
Huang on Tuesday afternoon publicized the name of the man, Chen Tse (陳冊), who on Saturday last week returned from Beijing and was ordered to undergo 14-day home quarantine.
However, city monitoring officials were unable to contact him by mobile phone or at his home.
Photo: Liu Ching-hou, Taipei Times, from a police photograph
Chen was found by police at an Internet cafe on Nanyang Street, Huang said yesterday, adding that he had not returned to his home, but rather had been at the cybercafe since returning to Taiwan.
After locating Chen, police immediately asked him to don full protective clothing and took him to Taipei City Hospital’s Heping branch to be tested for the coronavirus, she said.
The city government would ask if he could be admitted to the central government’s centralized quarantine center if he tests negative, she added.
“The Taipei Department of Health is to impose the heaviest fine of NT$1 million for breaching his home quarantine order for more than 72 hours,” Huang said, urging people not to defy such orders, as breaking quarantine could not only cause harm to themselves, but also other people.
As the number of people placed in home isolation or quarantine has increased rapidly, borough wardens and city officials are overworked, she said.
The central government should allow local governments to recruit volunteers to help provide care for people in home isolation or quarantine, Huang said, adding that it should also consider giving officials and volunteers special subsidies.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant negative economic effects, the city government has drafted a short-term relief plan to help prevent businesses from closing, which would cause a wave of unemployment.
The plan is comprised of six main measures: delaying tax payments; cutting water prices; reducing rent for city government-owned properties; rolling back interest rates at Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank and public pawnshops; and lowering house and entertainment taxes, he said.
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