Heat boosts water parks
Water parks nationwide have seen sales surge over the past few weeks thanks to persistent hot and sunny weather, park representatives said yesterday. Leofoo Water Park said there has been 35 percent year-on-year growth in the number of visitors since the beginning of this month, with average weekend arrivals reaching more than 30,000. “The summer heat has contributed greatly to the surge in business,” a park manager said, adding that he is expecting over 200,000 visitors over the summer vacation period. Likewise, Formosa Fun Coast and Janfusun Fancyworld said they have seen sudden increases in arrivals.
Tropical depression nears
A tropical depression near the Philippines may develop into a tropical storm over the weekend and affect Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The depression, around 350km south of Taiwan’s southernmost tip, is moving at 15kph in a west-northwestly direction, the bureau said. The depression is continuing to develop as it approaches Taiwan, forecasters said, adding that the depression may cross the Bashi Channel between the Philippines and Taiwan in the next few days and head to China. The depression’s outer rim may bring showers to southern and southeastern Taiwan until tomorrow, the bureau said, warning of high waves in coastal areas. Meanwhile, daily highs across the island are likely to fall between 33oC and 36oC this week, due to winds created by the depression.
Lectures address hepatitis B
About 10 percent of babies born to mothers with the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) will become hepatitis B carriers, even with vaccination, a pediatrician said yesterday. Since the hepatitis B vaccine does not guarantee full protection against infection, it is important to keep track of high-risk children, said Chen Hui-ling (陳慧玲), a pediatrician at National Taiwan University Hospital. Citing a study of about 2,000 children, Chen said that infants born to HBeAg mothers have a higher chance of becoming carriers, even if a rigorous vaccination scheme is implemented 24 hours after birth. The vaccination regimen involves further shots before the baby turns one, she said, reminding HBeAg parents to have their babies tested for the virus at the age of one. In an effort to help mothers learn more about hepatitis B, 10 free lectures will be held nationwide from next month until December, the Taiwan Children Liver Foundation said.
Foreigner numbers rise
The number of foreign nationals in the country, excluding Chinese citizens, was 630,678 as of the end of last month, 42,000 more than a year ago, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior yesterday. Of that number, 535,123 were on resident visas, while the others had visitor’s visas or other types of visas, the statistics showed. The number of foreign nationals working in Taiwan was 440,000, or 69.8 percent of the total, according to the tallies. The statistics showed that 42.2 percent of the foreign workers were from Indonesia, 22.2 percent from Vietnam and 19.4 percent from the Philippines. The number of Indonesian workers increased by 19,000 year-on-year, while the number from Vietnam rose by 11,000, and from the Philippines by 6,000, according to the statistics.