Taipei Deputy Mayor Pai Hsiou-hsiung (白秀雄) yesterday said that it is up to prosecutors to determine whether the former superintendent of Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital and the head of its Infectious Diseases Department should receive administrative punishments from the city government over the SARS outbreak at the hospital. \n"Prosecutors have control over the investigation now," Pai said. "If we need evidence or records from our own investigation, we will have to `borrow' it from them. So we have to work with them through the process." \nHe made the remarks when asked by reporters when the city government would announce if former superintendent Wu Kang-wen (吳康文) and department head Lin Jung-ti (林榮第) would face punishment. \nThe city's Bureau of Health announced on Thursday that it had suspended Dr. Chou Ching-kai (周經凱) from practicing medicine for three months because he broke the mandatory quarantine imposed on Hoping Hospital staff and that it had revoked the physician certificate of Jen Chi Hospital's superintendent Dr. Liao Cheng-hsiung (廖正雄) for concealing the SARS outbreak at his facility. \nDuring the Thursday evening press conference, however, bureau officials said Wu and Lin were still under investigation. \nPai said that, during interviews with bureau officials, Wu and Lin tried to avoid taking responsibility for the outbreak of SARS at their hospital. As a result, he said, the bureau needed more documents from the hospital before a decision could be made about the pair. \nThe bureau, however, has been told it must get permission from the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office to look at the hospital's records, he said. \n"When we tried to access patients' records, the hospital's employee-log records and so on, Taipei Chief Prosecutor Chen Ta-wei (陳大偉) told us we couldn't do so without prosecutors' authorization because these items are now crucial evidence in their investigation," Pai said. "When they [the prosecutors] decide who should bear the responsibility [for the outbreak], we'll know who to blame as well."
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