Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it.
The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Chen said an imported case was also confirmed on Sunday: a Taiwanese man who had been on a fishing vessel with six foreign nationals.
The foreigners were suspected to be illegal immigrants and they tested positive last week, he said.
“Although the local COVID-19 alert level will be lowered tomorrow [today], I must stress that the border control measures remain the same,” Chen said.
“Foreign nationals who do not hold a valid Alien Resident Certificate or resident visa are still temporarily banned from entering Taiwan, with the exception of those with special permissions for emergencies or humanitarian reasons,” he said.
“Visitors are also temporarily prohibited from making flight connections in Taiwan,” he said, adding that the policies are subject to change based on the global and local COVID-19 situation, as well as the implementation of disease prevention measures in local communities.
Chen said that about 1.44 million people who have registered with the online COVID-19 vaccination booking system and selected the AstraZeneca vaccine would receive a text message today to book an appointment for the next round of inoculations from Friday to Friday next week.
Eligible recipients include about 1.18 million people born before 1984, about 3,400 residents of Keelung and Yilan County who missed their appointments due to a typhoon last week and about 250,000 people who received a text message last week, but did not book an appointment.
After receiving a text message, eligible recipients can book an appointment from 10am today until midday on Thursday, Chen said.
The level 3 COVID-19 alert is to be lowered to level 2 today, raising the maximum number of people allowed at indoor gatherings to 50 and at outdoor gatherings to 100.
However, the center still discourages people who do not live together from gathering frequently and for too long, he said.
Asked if playing mahjong with friends and relatives would be allowed, Chen said the center is not against the activity if participants can maintain social distance and wear masks.
However, the advisory is difficult to implement and some local governments have kept the ban on playing mahjong, he said.
The Ministry of Education has required teachers from junior-high school to lower levels to either get a COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative rapid COVID-19 test result before they can return to school, but some teachers have voiced concerns about receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Asked about the issue, Chen said the center respects the education ministry’s policy, and it understands that some people do not want to receive certain brands of vaccine and some do not want to get vaccinated at all, so there is the option of providing a negative test result.
Chen asked people not to be too selective with vaccines, unless they have physiological reasons, and urged them to get inoculated as soon as possible.
CLOSED FOR DISINFECTION: Two of the three local cases were linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten, while the other case works at a McDonald’s restaurant The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three new local COVID-19 infections and 11 imported cases, but no deaths. The local cases are two men and a woman aged between 20 and 80 who reside in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, the CECC said in a news release. Two of them are linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. He said they are both associated with the mother of a kindergarten student, who was earlier confirmed to have
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
‘RAISING TAIWAN’S VISIBILITY’: Premier Su Tseng-chang said changing TECRO’s name to include ‘Taiwan’ would make the representative office more recognizable The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday declined comment on a Financial Times report that the name of Taiwan’s representative office in Washington might be changed, saying only that bolstering and upgrading ties with the US has been the government’s long-term objective. The ministry made the comments after the UK-based newspaper reported on that US President Joe Biden’s administration is considering allowing the government to use the word “Taiwan” in the office’s title. The US is “seriously considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in the US capital from ‘Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office’ [TECRO] to ‘Taiwan
WELCOME BACK: Foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese can now directly apply for a visa with representative offices overseas, the CECC said Regulations on applications for entry to the nation by foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese have been relaxed effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported two new local and three imported cases of COVID-19. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said the relaxation meant that such applications would be treated as general cases, instead of special ones that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. “Considering the recent local COVID-19 situation and the needs of foreign spouses and children to visit their family in Taiwan, we are allowing Taiwan’s