President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged China to keep information about a viral outbreak that began in Wuhan public and transparent as she called on the WHO not to exclude Taiwan.
Administration members, including herself, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), were part of the government during the SARS outbreak, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
“Today, 17 years later, we have enough experience, enough preparation and enough confidence to face the challenge,” she said, asking the public to go about their lives, but to pay attention to information released by the government.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Tsai’s appeal came just hours before the WHO convened a group of independent experts to advise if the outbreak should be declared a global emergency.
Tsai attended a national security meeting with senior officials, in which she was briefed on the outbreak and gave instructions.
The outbreak is categorized as level 3, she said, adding that the government has established a “central epidemic command center” and a reporting system.
Government agencies have also formed response teams, Tsai said, adding that epidemic prevention measures at the nation’s airports are “very strict.”
Twenty-six people have been tested locally for the 2019-nCoV infection, with one case having been confirmed, she said.
The patient is a woman who arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on a direct flight from Wuhan, Tsai said.
The woman has since been treated and no longer has a fever, she said.
Other passengers and crew members on the same flight would be monitored for 14 days, Tsai said, adding that those with signs of infection would be quarantined, diagnosed and treated immediately.
The government is to work with media platforms, including social media platforms, to broadcast outbreak information, she said.
It is monitoring the situation and would distribute surgical masks and supplies if needed, Tsai added.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of