Domestic pork prices will remain stable before the arrival of Ghost Festival, which falls on Aug. 12 this year, because of the abundance of imported pork from the US, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday. \nIn recent weeks, domestic pork prices have risen by 36 percent because of deaths of a number of hogs infected with circovirus type II (環狀病毒) in central Taiwan. \nAccording to COA tallies, the average local price of pork was about NT$5,917 per 100kg between July 1 and July 24, up 36 percent from the year-earlier level at NT$4,342. \nAgricultural officials said yesterday that farmers would be demanded to carry out disinfection measures thoroughly in these days. \nIn addition, officials said that pork prices would be adjusted by the availability of imported pork. \n"In late July and early August, pork prices here will be lowered by the arrival of imported pork from the US," said Chen Hsing-hao (陳幸浩), director of the COA's Animal Industry Department. \nChen said his forecast is partly based on the fact that pork prices in the US have declined by 11 percent since the beginning of this month. \nChen estimated that the drop would encourage local dealers to import more US pork to help meet the increasing demand and thus stabilize local prices. \nBetween June and early July, US pork prices also remained high at around US$1 per kilogram due to shrinking supplies. But the trend has reversed itself in recent days, with the price dropping to about US$0.88 per kilo. \nChen said the upward spiral will be brought under control by the time of the Ghost Festival -- the 15th day of the seventh moon on the lunar calendar -- when great feasts are set out in temples and in front of homes to appease wandering spirits. \nChiang Yi-nan (江益男), director of the COA's Animals and Plants Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, said yesterday that circovirus infection per se is not deadly to hogs. However, he said, infected hogs will lose weight and suffer from shortness of breath or have breathing difficulties. \nCOA officials urged farmers to carry out disinfection and precautionary measures to protect healthy hogs. \nOfficials said that infected hogs should be quarantined properly and abnormal deaths should be reported immediately. \nThe circovirus infection is not a statutory communicable disease, Chiang said, adding that no vaccines are available at the moment. \nScientists at National Chung Hsing University and other research institutions are still working on developing vaccines. \nThe virus is also unlikely to infect humans, Chiang said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang