President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday announced that she had suspended preparations for her inauguration ceremony, saying that she would not hold a large assembly amid fears of COVID-19 contagion.
Any further plans regarding the inauguration would be made according to suggestions offered by the Central Epidemic Command Center, she said in a statement on Facebook.
Preventing the spread of the disease is the government’s top priority, Tsai said, adding that the inauguration — scheduled for May 20 — would only be held under certain conditions.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
The government would temporarily halt preparations for the event, pending changes in the epidemic situation, she said.
Any event held would be smaller in scale than usual due to concerns over the spread of the disease, she added.
Tsai thanked the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Dharma Drum Mountain and other religious organizations for putting large-scale events on hold, or holding them online instead, to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading.
She also thanked members of the various religious groups for their understanding and cooperation at what she called a “crucial moment” in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
The public’s cooperation has reduced the pressure on frontline disease-prevention officials, she added.
Responding to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) remark that Tsai was planning to hold her inauguration at the Taipei Music Center, which is administered by the Taipei City Government, one of Tsai’s aides said on condition of anonymity that the center, which is not scheduled to officially open until June, was among the options.
However, depending on the epidemic situation, the Presidential Office had informed the city government that it could cancel its reservation in favor of another venue, they said.
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