A command center was put into commission yesterday by the Taichung City Government to integrate medical resources in the central part of the country to best prevent large-scale SARS infections from happening in the region.
The Executive Yuan's anti-SARS campaign leader Lee Ming-liang (
"We will try to prevent the area surrounding Taichung from falling victim to SARS. The disease might spread to the region from Kaohsiung or Taipei," Lee said.
PHOTO: XU XIA-LIAN, TAIPEI TIMES
"Even if the worst happens, we now have the faculty to handle it," he said.
The command center has power to control distribution of medical resources in the central region, which includes five municipalities and counties.
The head of the center is China Medical College Chairman Tsai Chang-hai (蔡長海), who was selected for the position for his active participation in the prevention of SARS in the city over the past two months.
A hospital affiliated with the China Medical College reported the first SARS-related death in the county.
Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), who was reported to be unhappy about certain arrangements for the command center, initially did not plan to attend the ceremony, but did make an appearance.
Hu stressed that the command center might have come a little late.
"But as people say, it is better late than never. The command center's activation means that the central government does take prevention against SARS as a war. A war needs dividing the country into different war zones. Each war zone has its own commander," Hu said.
DPP Legislator Chien Chao-tong (
"Some hospitals have not held SARS drills for the purpose of saving medical resources," Chien said.
In days to come, the country's attention might be on whether the central region will remain one of the safest and cleanest places in the country or will suffer from a heavy strike from the contagion, as some government officials are predicting.
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