The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday said that it has a series of response measures planned in case COVID-19 begins to spread in communities.
The CECC’s four-part prevention plan is based on Taiwan’s experience of dealing with the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, Department of Medical Affairs Director-General Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said.
The first part of the plan would focus on prevention efforts, as any community-level transmission would cause a sudden spike in the number of confirmed cases, he said, offering no additional details.
In the second part, the CECC would introduce new rules to minimize the risk of infection among healthcare workers, Shih said.
Citing his experience as an emergency room doctor at National Taiwan University Hospital during the SARS outbreak, Shih said the medical staff were split into two teams that alternated every two weeks.
That way, an entire team could be quarantined for two weeks without the risk of infecting their colleagues, he said.
If the COVID-19 outbreak reaches a level of urgency similar to the SARS epidemic, medical staff would again be split into teams, and their movements within the hospital would be limited to minimize contact with patients, he said.
Third, medical resources would be allocated to ensure they reach the people who need them the most, Shih said.
The country’s 1,100 negative-pressure isolation units are at 60 percent capacity, Shih said, adding that they are available for anyone who contracts COVID-19 and for those being tested for the virus based on factors such as their travel history.
However, if a community-level outbreak were to occur, demand for those units would increase and patients would be treated at other medical institutions, depending on the severity of their symptoms, he said.
Hospitals would be selected on the basis of their “emergency responsibility levels” — a set of standards that regulate the types of emergency services hospitals can provide, based on their staffing levels and technical capabilities, Shih said.
The fourth aspect of the plan involves reducing the number of people seeking non-essential medical treatment, Shih said.
In terms of implementation, Shih said that the CECC would discuss the measures with public health experts next week and would start working with medical institutions once a consensus has been reached.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37