Cold snap looms: CWB
A cold spell could start to bring temperatures down across Taiwan from late last night, with areas as far south as Chiayi likely to see daytime lows of 8°C over the next three days, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. Lows today could range from 8°C to 11°C in the north, 9°C to 13°C in central Taiwan, and 8°C to 14°C in the south. The chill could prevail until Thursday, when daytime maximum temperatures across the island are expected to edge up by 1°C to 3°C, forecasters said. The weather is set to be mostly dry, with limited showers likely in eastern Taiwan and mountainous areas in the north. Farmers are reminded to take care of their crops ahead of the cold surge, while the public should bundle up and be cautious of the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning from gas heaters, the bureau said.
Ma seeks Canada’s support
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expressed hope that Canada will support Taiwan’s bid to join Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks, days after Taipei relaxed restrictions on imports of Canadian beef. Ma met with seven members of both houses of the Canadian Parliament, including Senator James Cowan and Dominic LeBlanc from the House of Commons. The two headed a group of opposition Liberal Party members of parliament on a visit to Taiwan. Taiwan also seeks to enter the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Ma said. Inclusion in both is “key to our [Taiwan’s] integration into the regional economy,” he said. He also spoke on opportunities for expanding bilateral economic cooperation with Canada, including a double taxation agreement and investment protection pact.
CDC backs vaccine flexibility
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has given the green light for local governments to use influenza vaccine in a flexible manner, after some local health centers reported insufficient vaccine for toddlers. Public health centers can use adult-use flu vaccine, which is in the form of 0.5 ml per shot, for children aged between six months and three years, but the dosage must be halved, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said yesterday. Flu vaccine for children is usually provided in the form of 0.25 ml per shot. The flu season is now at its peak in Taiwan. Although the government has been carrying out its annual free flu vaccination program since October last year, there is still demand for children’s vaccinations in some cities and counties, Chou said. Greater Taichung is one of the places in need of vaccine for toddlers under three. The Taichung Health Bureau said yesterday that it has only 161 doses of flu vaccine for toddlers, although it has 21,493 doses of adult-use vaccine in stock.
Holiday policing boosted
Police around the nation are expanding their services to foreign residents during the Lunar New Year holidays to ensure home security during any temporary absences, Taipei City Police Department said recently. From today through Feb. 14, police patrols will be increased in communities where foreign nationals have homes, the department said. In cases where foreign residents plan to travel overseas during the holiday period, they can ask local police to install a duty log box in their vicinity as a means of protecting home security, the department said.