President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday told all fellow countrymen to fulfill their civil obligation and obey fully the government's measures for countering severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and detaining the spread of the disease.
"Every citizen is responsible and duty-bound to meet public sanitation requirements. Therefore, I say again, everyone must comply with the government's regulations and measures related to SARS," Chen said.
"Globalization is the reason that the spread of the disease has been able to cross boundaries and we are not allowed to proceed carelessly. Carelessness could lead to a innumerable loses," the president added.
"We face a challenge that is getting more and more grave, and to take others into consideration is an important and very basic principle to resolve this crisis."
Chen made his remarks at the annual assembly of a training association for farmers and fishermen. His appeal was in response to recent media reports pointing to examples of people under quarantine who have been spotted in public.
The press reported yesterday that a soldier who had a fever took a taxi to the Sungshan Hospital for medical treatment.
The media also reported some teachers and students who had flu symptoms were attending regular classes and going to classes at bushibans.
A survey carried out by a lawmaker also revealed that over 80 percent of students are refusing to wear face mask in public.
Taipei City and the Department of Health announced yesterday more severe measures are being drafted to punish those who violate quarantine or new disease-control laws.
"It is a crucial time. The government needs people to put the public interest before their own and even to make sacrifices to help the overall situation," Chen said.
The president also linked the control of the ailment to control of unsanctioned transport.
To the leaders of the country's farmers and fishermen present at the association conference, Chen said, "I must urge you to assist the government in its epidemic-prevention efforts, including supporting the government in its anti-smuggling efforts."