■ Health \nSARS pioneer book debuts \nThe top coordinator in the nation's campaign against SARS, Lee Ming-liang (李明亮), on Thursday presided over a ceremony at Rome's Capital Museum marking the launch of the Italian-language biography of Carlo Urbani, who was the first person to identify the SARS virus. Urbani, an expert on communicable diseases at the World Health Organization, died of the flu-like atypical pneumonia in Bangkok on March 29 last year. He was 47. The book, authored by Italian prize-winning writer Lucia Bellaspiga, gives a detailed and human account of how Urbani contributed his professional expertise to SARS identification and treatment in Asia and how he fought against the deadly virus during the crucial days prior to his death. Lee, chairman of the Carlo Urbani Memorial Foundation established in Taiwan last July, said the Chinese-language version of the biography is expected to be published in this country shortly. Addressing the biography debut ceremony, held at Rome's Capital Museum, Lee said that the book will provide a great inspiration to the younger generations around the world and that the Chinese-language version will let the vast population in the Chinese-language speaking communities learn about Urbani's spirit and teaching. \n■ Society \nBTCO issues warning \nThe British Trade and Cultural Office has issued a warning for British citizens to be aware of events here after last Saturday's presidential election. "Our advice to British residents is to avoid large public gatherings, in particular political rallies and demonstrations and observe developments in the local media," the office said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely," said the statement. The statement was issued on the eve of a pan-blue camp rally that organizers say will attract 500,000 people today to Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office. \n■ Health \nDengue system activated \nThe Department of Health (DOH) announced yesterday that the nation's dengue fever prevention mechanism has been activated amid outbreaks of the disease in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. Under the mechanism, DOH officials said, arrivals from Southeast Asia who have developed a fever will undergo blood tests and be presented with free mosquito nets for use at home for a week. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease. Yesterday, the DOH also invited officials from the Tourism Bureau, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Immigration Bureau, the Council of Labor Affairs, the Environmental Protection Bureau, health bureaus from 25 cities and counties around the country and major travel associations to discuss dengue fever-prevention measures. It was decided at the meeting that films featuring dengue fever prevention and control measures will be shown on all flights from and to Southeast Asian countries. At least 455 people have died from dengue fever in Indonesia so far this year, DOH officials said. According to the officials, Taiwan has not had a locally originated dengue fever case so far this year, but has tallied 17 imported cases, including seven from Indonesia, six from Vietnam, two from the Philippines, one each from Thailand and India.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,