From today, all Chinese nationals are banned from entering Taiwan, while people who have traveled to China, Hong Kong or Macau in the previous 14 days are to be put under mandatory home quarantine for 14 days after returning to Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday.
The only exception would be people who travel to Hong Kong or Macau after obtaining the government’s permission, who would be “asked to perform mandatory self-care management after returning to Taiwan,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who also heads the center.
The center designated China as a secondary epidemic area for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, while the Mainland Affairs Council issued a “red” travel advisory — its highest level, meaning “do not visit” — for China and a “yellow” travel advisory — meaning “reconsider visiting” — for Hong Kong and Macau.
Photo: Chan Shih-hung, Taipei Times
Taiwan had no new confirmed 2019-nCoV infections yesterday, Chen said, but added that two Taiwanese evacuees from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, showed mild respiratory symptoms and were quarantined at a hospital for further examination.
“However, confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in China continue to increase rapidly and many areas in China have imposed travel bans or restrictions,” he said. “The whole of China has become an epidemic area.”
Mainland Affiars Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said that Taiwanese who travel to China despite the agency’s travel warning would be quarantined at home for 14 days when they return.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
The council in a news release said that 19 of China’s 31 provinces and cities had reported more than 100 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, including clustered infections in local communities in Beijing and Shanghai.
Confirmed cases in Hong Kong and Macau have also continued to increase in the past few days, the council said, urging people to remain cautious and reconsider traveling to the two territories.
Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that people placed under mandatory home quarantine should practice self-discipline and observe the restrictions, adding that those whose breach quarantine would be dealt with according to the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法), the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) and the Criminal Code.
“Local civil administrations, including borough and village wardens, are to cooperate with local health departments by finding people who lose contact with officials during quarantine,” he said. “If such people cannot be found, the police would step in to conduct a search.”
“Police will implement measures employed when solving major criminal cases when searching for such people,” Hsu said.
People with a fever who take antipyretics to reduce their body temperature or provide false information in the Novel Coronavirus Health Declaration Card upon their arrival in Taiwan would also face fines or other punishment for contravening the Social Order Maintenance Act and the Criminal Code, he said.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no