Unpaid leave figures drop
The number of workers on unpaid leave still exceeds 17,000, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said. The latest figures released by the council show that, as of yesterday, 17,697 workers were on unpaid leave at 254 companies, down from 19,948 workers on unpaid leave at 336 companies at the end of last month. The number of people on unpaid leave has continued to drop since peaking at 238,975 in March. However, the council said the numbers have been dropping in smaller increments, from significant five-digit monthly decreases in the middle of the year to only a few thousand in recent months. Some labor groups have accused the council of looking only at the numbers that companies have chosen to report themselves. The groups said this could distort the unemployment picture. In order to increase the number of job openings, the council is planning to launch another stimulus program, which it predicted would create about 15,000 public sector jobs. The openings will be prioritized for those who are involuntarily unemployed or belong to disadvantaged groups.
Fishermen not released
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denied a news report that a group of fishermen who were detained by Myanmar late last month have been released. According to the Chinese-language United Daily News, a businessman in Thailand said Beijing had played a major role in getting the men home. Ministry Deputy Spokesman James Chang (章計平) rejected the report and said that information gathered by Taiwan’s representative office in Bangkok showed that all four Taiwanese nationals who were captured for allegedly trespassing in Myanmar’s waters were still in captivity and waiting for the judicial process to take its course.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it has allocated NT$68 million (US$2.32 million) to build an Internet-of-things (IoT) platform that would facilitate proactive maintenance of the railway system and enhance service punctuality. The agency said that it decided to build the platform to promote horizontal communication among its departments after an investigation into the Puyuma Express derailment in October 2018 found that its four main departments — electrical engineering, rolling stock, construction and transportation — failed to share information with one another. The platform would use artificial intelligence to analyze maintenance data collected by its departments, including railway crossings,