The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has maintained a strategy of transparency, honesty and humility from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, after China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday called him an “expert” in concealment.
In its fight against the novel coronavirus, the center’s strategy “has not changed since day one,” Chen, who heads the center, said at the center’s daily news conference in Taipei.
Time will tell whether the decisions made by the center were correct, he said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“The virus is dividing people,” Chen said, adding that the battle should be returned to being between humanity and the disease.
The center yesterday reported one new imported case of COVID-19, ending a 13-day streak of no new infections in the nation.
The patient — the nation’s 441st case — is a man in his 30s who had traveled to Mexico in late January for work and returned to Taiwan on Wednesday, Chen said.
While in Mexico, the man had a fever from April 30 to May 1, and a slight cough on May 5, followed by diarrhea from Monday to Wednesday last week, he said.
Upon his arrival, the man reported his symptoms and was sent to a quarantine facility after being tested at the airport, Chen said.
The man had exercised caution on his trip back by wearing a mask and protective clothing throughout the flight, and did not have contact with any family members or friends in Taiwan, he said.
Yesterday marked 39 days since the last local transmission was recorded.
Of the nation’s confirmed cases, 407 patients had been released from isolation as of yesterday, up from 402 on Wednesday.
There have been seven deaths from COVID-19 in Taiwan.
Despite yesterday’s new case, the community remains safe, Chen said, adding that no new preventive measures needed to be implemented and that the center would continue to work toward reopening the nation.
Asked about the center’s plans to modify quarantine rules for foreigners entering Taiwan for business purposes, Chen said that for now, the loosening of restrictions for business travelers would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
A one-size-fits-all guideline would not be released until after the pandemic subsides, he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has advised schools that if they take comprehensive disease prevention measures, they would be allowed to host large events — including graduation ceremonies — without needing to limit the number of attendees to 100 for indoor events and 500 for outdoor events.
Such measures should include social distancing or the wearing of masks, measuring the body temperature of attendees, real-name registration, and crowd control and sanitation practices, it said.
Chen said that while the center approves of the hosting of graduation ceremonies, parents should not be allowed “unlimited” access.
Additional reporting by Rachel Lin and Wu Liang-yi
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
The nation marked its 49th day with no new domestic COVID-19 cases yesterday, and there were no new imported cases, but that does not mean the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) can relax its attention, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said yesterday in Tainan as he and a team of health officials wrapped up a weekend visit to the city. The visit is part of the center’s efforts to promote domestic travel under the “new disease prevention lifestyle.” Among the 442 confirmed cases, 423 have been released from isolation and 12 people remain hospitalized, Chen
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest