The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday it has received 20 reports of suspect severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) cases. \nSix of the 20 cases matched the World Health Organization's definition of "probable cases" of SARS, said Chen Tsai-ching (陳再晉), CDC director-general. \nThe CDC is in the process of checking whether another three of the 20 could be listed as suspect SARS cases, Chen said. \nThe CDC has confirmed 11 out of the 20 were not suspect SARS cases, according to Chen. \nChen said that before the WHO pinpoints the virus that causes SARS, all cases can only be listed as "probable" or "suspected" cases. \nOn Friday, a Vietnam-based US diplomat chartered a flight to send his son to Taiwan for SARS treatment. \nChen said the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), where the child was admitted to, did not report any new developments of the boy's illness yesterday. \nNevertheless, Chen said the child's symptoms did not fully match the WHO's definition of suspected SARS cases because his fever has not been higher than 38?C since his arrival at Taiwan. \nThe boy was referred to NTUH with the help of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). \nIn an interview with the Central News Agency on Friday, Douglas Paal, AIT's Taipei office director, said the SARS outbreak has given Taiwan a rallying point regarding observer rights in the upcoming World Health Assembly. \nAccording to CNA, Paal said Taiwan has done well in handling the SARS cases that have occurred in the past few weeks, in contrast with China's behavior. This will be an argument for Taiwan's participation, Paal said. \nAfter the SARS outbreak, two officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were dispatched to Taiwan to help study the cause of the disease. \nAccording to CNA, Paal said the US officials highly approved of the CDC's handling of the SARS outbreak. \nMeanwhile, Chen said in order to prevent the spread of SARS, schools or institutions where suspect SARS cases are reported can decide on their own to impose "quarantine vacation" of up to seven days. \nBesides, the Department of Health reiterated yesterday it showed no favoritism in dealing with SARS treatments for the US diplomat's child and China-based Taiwanese businessmen. \nDepartment Director-General Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) called earlier this week for China-based Taiwanese businessmen infected with SARS to be treated in local hospitals. \nWhen the US diplomat's child was flown to Taiwan, some local media reported that the department had set double standards in giving SARS treatment to foreigners and Taiwanese businessmen. \nThe health department issued a statement yesterday saying it has convened a meeting on March 18 to discuss how to transport suspected SARS cases to Taiwan. \nAccording to the statement, suspected SARS cases can be sent to Taiwan if quarantine measures during the transporting process are properly taken. \nThe statement said the suspected SARS cases' nationality "makes no difference" to the treatment they receive. \nThe health department still encourages China-based Taiwanese businessmen to stay in local hospitals for treatment, said the statement. \nAlso See Story: \n \nEditorial: SARS: The US helps, WHO doesn't
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on