Singapore No. 1 choice
Taiwanese like Singapore the most out of 12 major countries in Asia and beyond, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation. The poll showed that 87.1 percent of respondents said they liked Singapore best, followed by Japan, at 83.9 percent. Canada was third with 83 percent, ahead of the EU (78.7 percent), Australia (78.6 percent) and the US (68.1 percent), foundation chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said. Rounding out the top 10 countries were Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and Russia, while the Philippines and North Korea were at the bottom, You said. North Korea was voted by 81.6 percent of respondents as the country they most disliked, while the Philippines and China were mentioned by 57.3 percent and 47.4 percent of respondents respectively. The survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday last week among Taiwanese aged 20 and over, collected 1,185 valid samples.
Temperatures to drop again
The Central Weather Bureau said the weather this week would be changeable, with a cold front moving in late yesterday that was expected to lower temperatures sharply in northern Taiwan. The spring equinox yesterday saw cloudy to sunny conditions nationwide, with highs of up to 30°C in central and southern Taiwan. However, with a cold front approaching and strengthening northeastern seasonal winds, temperatures could drop by as much as 7°C today in the north and northeast, where there is a chance of brief showers. The seasonal winds are expected to ease tomorrow, with showers clearing and temperatures rising, the bureau said. From Thursday through Sunday, temperatures in northern and eastern Taiwan are expected to drop again with some brief showers, it said.
Hospital takes EasyCard
The Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei yesterday said people would be able to pay medical bills using EasyCards. Medical Service Section director Lin Ko-feng said the policy would make the hospital more patient-friendly and avoid the potential spread of bacteria and diseases when payments are made in cash and handled by hospital personnel. Several hospitals operated by the Taipei City and New Taipei City governments already accept payment using EasyCards. Lin said the hospital charges its patients about NT$450 per visit, which is a reasonable amount for EasyCard payments. The hospital sees about 6,000 to 7,000 patients per day, Lin said, adding that EasyCard payment, which takes about three seconds to process, is a win-win solution. The hospital added that people can also pay their bills with a credit card, a service previously only available for expensive examinations not covered by health insurance.
Norovirus cluster reported
There have been 14 cases of norovirus in Kaohsiung school campuses since the middle of last month, when schools reopened after the winter break, the Department of Health said on Sunday. About 150 students have reported illness, mostly elementary-school and kindergarten students, the department said, adding that after an investigation, norovirus was found to be the main culprit. Norovirus is a highly contagious disease for which there is no treatment. It is transmitted mostly through the fecal-oral route. From March 5 to March 11, the number of people going to the hospital with diarrhea was 7.17 percent, higher than the 6.68 percent in the same period last year, Centers for Disease Control data showed.