Summer camp activities will proceed as scheduled despite A(H1N1), or swine flu, cluster infections involving students in such programs, a Ministry of Education official said yesterday.
“A(H1N1) flu is a category-four statutory communicable disease, just like other forms of flu, said Wang Chun-chuan (王俊權), director of the ministry’s Physical Education Department.
“Since no stricter regulations have been imposed to halt the spread of the disease, summer camp activities can go ahead as usual,” Wang said.
The ministry will ask students attending the camps to maintain rigorous personal hygiene.
The ministry has organized 110 camp programs for students this summer, some of which have been going on for more than a month. Some campgoers were among those in the recent A(H1N1) cluster infections.
Wang said the ministry sees no need to suspend the camps for now, as long as the campsites are kept clean and students follow personal hygiene rules.
He reminded parents, however, that children should not attend camp activities if they show flu symptoms, such as a fever and sore throat.
As for schools offering summer courses, Wang said the authorities at each school could decide for themselves whether to shut down if an A(H1N1) case was confirmed at their location, because summer courses are not formal school days.
The ministry would wait until closer to the start of the new school year to decide on school closures if there were still new cluster infections being reported at the end of next month, Wang said.
As of Saturday, 12 A(H1N1) cluster infections had been confirmed in Taiwan.
Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), an epidemiologist and former Department of Health minister, has said Taiwan is approaching a stage where the A(H1N1) virus will spread quickly.
“If we fail to intensify prevention efforts, a major outbreak could hit in late September or October, the traditional flu peak season,” Chen said, adding that the government should speed up purchases of anti-viral drugs and vaccines.
Taiwan has so far confirmed six severe A(H1N1) cases, including one death.
Department of Health Minister Yeh Chin-chuan (葉金川) is scheduled to leave on a two-day trip to Hong Kong tomorrow to attend a forum on the prevention of A(H1N1) infection.
Centers of Disease Control Director Kuo Hsu-sung (郭旭崧) said yesterday the health department was planning to sponsor an international symposium on A(H1N1) when the flu situation stabilizes, and would invite experts from Hong Kong and the US to attend.
If the situation deteriorates, however, it might not be able to spare the time for such a meeting, he said.
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
Nearly 60 percent of Kaohsiung residents polled said that they would vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), think tank Taiwan Brain Trust, which conducted the survey, said yesterday. A petition to recall the mayor is undergoing a second review and if it is passed, a vote is to be held in the latter half of June. Of those polled, 69.7 percent said that they would participate in a vote, while 56 percent said they would still participate if there was a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The data showed that, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, Han would likely
FALSE INFORMATION: The report quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner are ‘in prison-like conditions’ A BBC report that quotes Britons’ complaints about quarantine conditions they experienced in Taiwan is not true, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, expressing regret over damage done to the nation’s reputation for competent disease-prevention measures. The BBC report published on Wednesday quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner were quarantined on Wednesday last week and are being kept “in prison-like conditions.” “The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes,” the mother was quoted as saying, without naming the location of
ODD TIMING: Taiwan has called Chinese drills around the Taiwan Strait provocative and urged Beijing to focus on combating COVID-19 rather than harass its neighbor China yesterday accused the US of playing a dangerous game with its support for Taiwan, after a US warship passed through Taiwan Strait. China has been angered by the administration of US President Donald Trump stepping up support for the nation, such as through more arms sales, US patrols near Taiwan and last month’s visit to Washington by former premier and vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德). US Seventh Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Anthony Junco said the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Wednesday, in line with international law. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment