The number of poultry culled nationwide as avian influenza outbreaks escalate has surged past 1 million, while two more teams of extermination workers are to be dispatched to Yunlin, where the situation is the most severe, putting the total number of exterminators at more than 400, the Council of Agriculture said.
Meanwhile, six more chicken farms were confirmed to be hit by a highly pathogenic H5 subtype yesterday, raising the tally to 14.
The newly confirmed facilities include three organic chicken farms in Changhua County, two in Pingtung County and one in Greater Kaohsiung.
Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Director-General Chang Su-san (張淑賢) yesterday said that in addition to disinfection processes carried out at farms, all vehicles carrying poultry, eggs and feed from the five municipalities hit hardest by the outbreaks — Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Greater Tainan and Pingtung — would also undergo disinfection.
Checkpoints would be set up along all major roads connecting the areas with other municipalities, she said. Items to be disinfected include the driver’s and passengers’ shoes, tires and mats.
Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) said the council yesterday afternoon allocated subsidies totaling NT$110 million (US$3.5 million) to cover disease control operations expenditures, of which NT$43 million went to Yunlin; NT$18 million to Chiayi, where 38 goose farms have been hit; NT$15 million to Pingtung; NT$15 million to Greater Tainan; and NT$10 million to Changhua.
He said the council has dispensed 18,190 hazmat suits, 17,040 masks and 10,000 pairs of gloves to extermination workers since Tuesday last week.
Chen also denied media reports that there have been shortages in resources, saying that apart from the council’s aid, resources have been pooled from the private sector and that the Animal and Plant Disease Control Center has a stockpile of equipment.
He urged the media not to disseminate misleading information, saying: “It does not do the current circumstances any good.”
Asked if there were any weaknesses in the council’s disease control measures, Chen said it was farmers irresponsibly disposing of bird carcasses in Yunlin and Chiayi last week.
“The only weakness is farmers discarding dead poultry, because it could exacerbate the spread of avian flu,” he said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions