The Center for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a second person had contracted dengue fever in a laboratory, after the first case of dengue fever in Taiwan this year had been declared the result of laboratory mismanagement. \nThe center said that a graduate student doing research at a university in central Taiwan was confirmed to have contracted the disease on May 13. \nAccording to the CDC, the patient started showing symptoms of fever, headache and pain in his joints on April 22. \nBecause the student's research had been focused on Armigeres subalbatus, one of the most common mosquito species in Taiwan, the CDC requested in April that all lab work related to the dengue virus be discontinued and that lab safety checks be performed. \nThe CDC reported yesterday that the patient's latest blood tests had confirmed a genetic link to the virus he had been working with. \nAccording to the CDC, blood tests were performed to confirm that other researchers or laboratory employees had not contracted dengue fever. \nThe laboratory has since been closed down pending changes to safety regulations and operating procedures, the CDC said, adding that labs conducting research on invertebrates would in the future have to abide by strict World Health Organization regulations and guidelines. \nThe center's revelation follows close on the heels of a string of laboratory-related SARS cases in Singapore, China and Taiwan. The infections all stemmed from contact with laboratory virus cultures, which gave rise to questions about the safety precautions at research laboratories handling infectious substances. \nThe CDC said that it will be establishing a lab safety committee to oversee research projects. Research proposals will have to be reported to the committee before being implemented.
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying: