Zedkaia receives degree
Marshall Islands President Jurelang Zedkaia received an honorary doctorate from National Taiwan Normal University yesterday in recognition of his efforts to promote bilateral relations and for helping Taiwan participate in international organizations. Zedkaia received his honorary doctorate in political science from university president Chang Kuo-en (張國恩) in a ceremony witnessed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) and other officials. Zedkaia said the honor was a big event for him as well as his country, and one he would not forget. Afterwards, he visited the university’s Mandarin Training Center, where he took part in a 20-minute-long language class, where he learned several Mandarin phrases. This is Zedkaia’s first state visit to Taiwan. He arrived on Wednesday on a six-day trip.
Karaoke tape makers fined
The Fair Trade Commission on Wednesday fined two karaoke tape makers a total of NT$1.7 million (US$53,000) for restricting market competition. In a meeting with distributors and retailers in September 2008, the two companies allegedly said that their distributors were not permitted to sell or act as an agency for other tape makers, or they would terminate their contracts. The commission said the two firms controlled 80 percent of the market, and their actions had interfered with free market competition because other tape makers were not able to obtain distributors for their products.
Drug recycling stations open
Recycling stations opened at 1,500 drug stores nationwide yesterday for the collection of expired or unused medications. “The recycling stations are being set up to encourage people to join the campaign against environmental pollution by properly disposing of drugs and other medical products,” said Lien Jui-meng (連瑞猛), president of the Union of Pharmacist Associations. A survey by a research team headed by National Taiwan University associate professor Chen Chia-yang (陳家揚), said traces of fever reducers, pain relievers, antibiotics and lipid-lowering drugs have been found in major rivers in the north and center of the country. Although these medications were safe for human consumption, they could cause ecological changes if dumped in rivers, because long-term exposure to contaminated river water could affect the growth of aquatic plants and fish, Chen said.
Singaporeans prefer Taipei
Taipei is the most popular Asian city among Singaporean backpackers, a survey published in the Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao in Singapore on Wednesday showed. Some 31 percent of young travelers polled said Taipei topped the list of cities they would like to visit, followed by Bangkok, Shanghai and Sydney. The survey examined the preferences of the city-state’s young people in a number of categories, including most popular brands, video games and places to go. The Lianhe Zaobao said the cultural diversity and the wide range of leisure activities in Taipei were the main factors attracting young tourists. Philip Chao (趙光訓), director of Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau Office in Singapore, said Taipei offers tourists fine cuisine, high mountains and spectacular sea views.Taipei, like Singapore, is a safe city with activity going on 24 hours a day, Chao said.
ADEQUATE COVERAGE: New Taipei City, which has more than 9,500 people under home quarantine, said it would add another 450 rooms at its disease prevention hotels The Taipei City Government has added a fourth designated disease prevention hotel, allowing people under 14-day home quarantine to isolate themselves from NT$5,000 per day, it said yesterday. The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism launched the first disease prevention hotel on Feb. 21 to accommodate travelers without a place to stay during mandatory home isolation or quarantine, and for people who want to separate themselves from their family members or roommates during quarantine. The department said that as of yesterday, more than 120 travelers have stayed at one of the city’s three disease prevention hotels, and their 178 rooms are nearly
MISINFORMATION: The 100,000 masks given to ally Paraguay were bought in other Latin American nations, not made in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. “Taiwan provides med-ical aid to diplomatic allies based upon specific circumstances,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, adding that the supplements donated by Taiwan were all purchased locally in allied countries, in accordance with their needs. “The time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to export medical supplies, such as surgical masks, to diplomatic allies, until
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
All state-run columbariums must strictly regulate how many visitors they host during Tomb Sweeping Day on Saturday next week to curb the spread of COVID-19, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday. Hou asked people to use online worshipping services instead. Electronic “tomb sweeping” systems, which display a virtual altar for people to make offerings and say prayers, can reduce crowd sizes at columbariums, Hou said during a site visit to Shulin Life Memorial Hall (樹林生命紀念館), a columbarium in the city’s Shulin Disrict (樹林). Measures for admission control would be strictly implemented in state-run columbariums, Hou said, pointing to the Shulin