Taipei officials have fined a person NT$1 million (US$33,228) for breaking quarantine, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday.
It was the first time the city has issued the maximum fine for contravening its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan.
The person, who was not identified, on Monday arrived from Xiamen, China, and according to Taiwan’s disease-prevention regulations, should have remained under home quarantine until March 23, the Taipei Department of Health said.
Photo: Shen Pei-yao, Taipei Times
The person was arranged to stay at a hotel, as they refused to provide their home address when passing through customs, the department said.
However, city officials and police could not find the person in their hotel room when they visited for a control check on Tuesday, it said.
The person was later found at Kaohsiung International Airport when they tried to purchase an airplane ticket out of Taiwan, the department said.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the health departments in Taipei and Kaohsiung coordinated to have the person escorted to a quarantine center in Kaohsiung, it said.
Over the past two weeks, the Taipei City Government has fined 70 people — 63 of whom were fined NT$10,000, four were fined NT$70,000, and three were fined NT$50,000, NT$60,000 and NT$1 million respectively.
In related news, a woman who arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from the US via Hong Kong on Monday traveled to her home in a regular taxi in contravention of regulations.
People arriving from Hong Kong must not use public transportation and must quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, according to regulations.
The woman initially tried to get on a bus to Tainan, but was turned away by driver after the driver found out that she had arrived from Hong Kong, airport police said.
She had not arranged anyone to pick her up and did not have a vehicle to travel home, police said.
After learning that she must take a designated “disease prevention” taxi or face a fine of between NT$100,000 and NT$1 million, the woman said that she had no money and loitered at the airport for seven hours, during which she removed her mask, they said.
Airport police said they could not fine her, as the rules stipulating punishments for such offenses were to take effect the following day.
Her family offered to pay for the taxi when she arrived home, but the woman refused, police said.
Although a police detail was stationed to watch the woman, and taxi and bus drivers were instructed not to transport her, she managed to board the airport tram to Terminal 1 and took a taxi to Taoyuan’s Nankan District (南崁), where she boarded a bus to Tainan, airport police said.
The incident suggests that the current policies need improvement, they said.
The CDC said that people under home quarantine may take public transportation if they wear a mask, but cannot take public transportation from an airport upon returning from a country or area with an at least level 2 “alert” travel warning, according to Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ disease-prevention rules.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of