Mon, Jun 08, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

■ IMMIGRATION

Restrictions eased

The National Immigration Agency (NIA) announced late on Saturday that restrictions on Chinese business visitors would be eased, with the duration of stay extended to one month from 14 days. NIA Deputy Director-General Ho Jung-chun (何榮村) said the relaxation was part of amended regulations governing visits by Chinese business executives and professionals promulgated by the Ministry of the Interior the previous day. Ho said Chinese citizens made about 80,000 business visits to Taiwan last year. Previous regulations stipulated that local companies with an annual turnover of less than NT$30 million (US$917,400) were eligible to host a maximum of 15 Chinese business visitors annually. Under the new regulations, that number was raised to 45. The number of Chinese business visitors that local businesses with annual turnover of NT$30 million or more can host each year has been raised to 200 from the initial 50.

■ HEALTH

Two new A(H1N1) cases

The Central Epidemics Command Centers (CECC) announced two imported A(H1N1) cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan to 19. “Case 18” was a 32-year-old Taiwanese female who had returned to Taiwan following a trip to Australia. Her husband was also listed as a possible swine flu case and quarantined. He displayed symptoms of the illness, CECC spokesman Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said. “The rest of the tour group — 13 people altogether — as well as 29 passengers who shared a flight with “Case 18” and sat in close proximity to her, were asked to monitor their health and report to the Centers for Disease Control if they developed flu-like symptoms,” he said. “Case 19” was a 15-year-old boy of US nationality who arrived in Taiwan from Utah with his mother after transits in Los Angeles and Tokyo, Shih said. As the boy’s mother displayed symptoms of the flu, she was quarantined and listed as a suspected case, Shih said, adding that six people who came in close contact with the boy were asked to stay home and monitor their health.

■ HEALTH

Group wants free vaccines

The government should consider including many vaccines needed by children in the national health insurance plan as many parents with young children find vaccine shots expensive, the Taiwan Immunization Vision and Strategy (TIVS) alliance said. Citing a poll conducted last month, TIVS secretary-general Lee Bing-ying (李秉穎) said that while 67.7 percent of respondents said that as a result of the economic downturn they were more reluctant to bring their children to clinics for vaccine shots, 92.9 percent of parents nevertheless paid for the service. “While [parents] worry about money, they still pay to ensure their loved ones are protected,” Lee said.

■ CRIME

Taipei targets graffiti

Taipei City will crack down on graffiti on public property and redouble efforts to keep the city clean. Individuals found to have arbitrarily defaced public property will face fines of up to NT$6,000, Department of Environmental Protection officials said yesterday. The city made the decision after workers had trouble cleaning graffiti done with certain types of markers or spray paint and had to spend considerable sums of money to get it off walls and other venues. The government advised graffiti enthusiasts to practice art at designated areas.

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