As students nationwide returned to school yesterday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) visited Taipei Municipal Shezi Elementary School to inspect disease-prevention measures and suggested that parents should take their children’s temperature before they leave to school on a daily basis.
Five lanes were set up at the entrance to the school about 7am and students had their temperature taken with a forehead thermometer before they were allowed to enter the campus.
There are more than 220,000 students in elementary and high schools in Taipei, and more if preschools are counted, Ko said, adding that yesterday’s situation was like a stress test to see if the preventive measures could be implemented smoothly.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The Taipei Department of Education has designated a contact person for schools to report problems or make suggestions, so that the measures can be adapted based on their feedback, he said.
To ensure a smooth entry, schools with more than 1,000 students should have at least 10 entrance lanes for temperature taking, he added.
To improve efficiency, parents should take their children’s temperature every morning and after they return home, and record the data in schools’ online systems, he said.
Asked whether he thought mass gatherings, such as the annual Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage, should be canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Ko said that the pilgrimage could be modified to prevent the risk of mass infection.
For the Taipei Lantern Festival, participants were asked to wear masks and food stalls were banned, he said.
As there is no COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan, authorities can handle the handful of cases being confirmed, Ko said, but added that the healthcare system would break down if more than 200 cases are confirmed in one day, as has happened in South Korea.
“Taiwan is still in a dangerous situation, which can only be lifted when China takes control of its outbreak,” he said.
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