The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Toronto, Canada SARS-free and removed the city from its list of affected areas, adding that it would declare Taiwan free of SARS this week "if no unexpected events occur." \nTaiwan reported no new cases of SARS for the 17th consecutive day yesterday, bringing it another step closer to the 20-day point that will make it officially SARS-free in the eyes of the WHO. \n"If no unexpected events occur, the last two areas in the world -- Toronto and Taiwan -- to have experienced local transmission of SARS will be declared later this week to have broken the chain of person-to-person transmission," the WHO said in a statement posted on its Web site. \n"This achievement will mean that the SARS coronavirus is no longer thought to be circulating in the human population," the WHO said. \nGovernment health officials expect the nation to be delisted by the WHO on Sunday, unless new infections occur. \nThe Center for Disease Control yesterday dropped two cases from its list of SARS after a review, reducing the number of infections to 676. \nThe death toll from the pneumonia-like epidemic stood steady at 84, and 34 people were still in hospital with the disease, the center said. \nIn related news, the number of arrivals from China is expected to increase from tomorrow, when the government will fully lift its "B category" quarantine requirement for arrivals from China, the Cabinet's SARS Prevention and Relief Committee said yesterday. \nAs of yesterday, 18 of the 34 SARS patients in hospital needed intensive care treatment, the committee reported, adding that 85 people who had close contact with SARS patients remain under "category A" quarantine, while 12,607 people who had returned from SARS-affected areas were under "category B" quarantine. \nThe Department of Health said that although Taiwan might be removed by the WHO from its list of areas with local transmissions soon, the Cabinet's committee will continue to operate for an additional 10 days.
Without completed infrastructure and training, the expedited sale of new F-16s from the US could become a burden rather than a help, a military official said yesterday. Reuters on Thursday last week reported that Washington is looking to accelerate the delivery of 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft in response to what it sees as increasing intimidation by Beijing. Under the terms of the original US$8 billion deal signed in 2019, the US is expected to deliver a single-seater and double-seater for testing next year, then deliver the 66 new aircraft in batches of four or five from 2024 to 2026. The officials
SLIGHTS: Beijing intends to display pro-unification messages and prominently feature Taiwanese volunteers in its propaganda videos, an official said Taiwanese officials are poised to boycott next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, an official with knowledge of the matter said yesterday, citing concerns that China would slight Taiwan during the Games. This year’s Winter Olympics are scheduled to open on Friday next week amid a diplomatic boycott by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, New Zealand, the UK and the US in response to China’s human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang and crackdowns on democracy advocates in Hong Kong. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that a Cabinet-appointed task force has determined that Taiwan’s delegation would abstain from the opening and
INCREASED COOPERATION: Part of the funding is to be used to further the aims of a Taiwan-US human resources development platform launched in 2015, a source said An increase of ￥100 million (US$878,765) to Japan’s annual foreign affairs budget is for “advancing the Japan-Taiwan relationship,” information published on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site showed. The ministry’s budget for last year was ￥1.7 billion; it was increased to ￥1.8 billion for this year. The ministry wrote that the additional funding was to be used for “cooperating with allies and like-minded countries to safeguard the universal values of the international community.” Regarding Taiwan specifically, the ministry said that it was “responding to an increasingly complex security and economic environment,” and that it aimed to “strengthen diplomacy and cooperation
A majority of Japanese feel friendly toward Taiwan, with almost half of respondents in a poll saying that they want to visit the country after COVID-19 travel curbs are eased, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan said yesterday. The office said that 75.9 percent of respondents said they feel friendly toward Taiwan, citing as reasons the friendliness and politeness of Taiwanese, the long history of ties between the two nations, and the strength of bilateral trade. More than one-quarter of respondents — 26.4 percent — said they had traveled to Taiwan, while 47.8 percent said they would like to