Foreigners working or living in Taiwan must have a National Health Insurance (NHI) card and register it before they can preorder masks on the government’s online system, officials said yesterday, as the new system began a week-long trial.
Foreigners must have an NHI card to use the mask preorder system, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Ho Chi-kung (何啟功) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei, when asked whether foreigners working or living in the nation would be able to preorder masks online.
Those who access the system via the NHI Administration mobile app (全民健保行動快易通) must properly register their NHI cards before they can order masks, he said.
Depending on demand, the Ministry of Health and Welfare might ask the NHI Administration or Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信), which built the system, to create an English version, he added.
Separately yesterday, the NHI Administration said that foreigners should use the Web site version (https://emask.taiwan.gov.tw) rather than the app to preorder masks, as the former entails an easier process.
First, they would need to have a card reader to register their NHI card online (https://cloudicweb.nhi.gov.tw/cloudic/system/mlogin.aspx), NHI Administration associate researcher Chen Tzu-yu (陳孜瑜) told the Taipei Times.
A plug-in would need to be installed on the computer they use to complete the process, she said.
After inserting their NHI card into the card reader, a column would appear on the page asking them to fill in their Alien Resident Certificate information, she added.
If a foreigner chooses to access the system through the app, they would have to go through an additional step of authenticating their mobile device, Chen said.
This would require them to log on to the NHI card registration page using a card reader and request a quick response code, which can be scanned with their mobile device to complete the authentication process, she said.
Alternatively, they can request a password on the registration page before inputting it in the app, she added.
People who want to register their NHI card or authenticate their mobile device should keep in mind that there are only Chinese instructions throughout the process.
The app was temporarily overwhelmed yesterday morning due to a large amount of online traffic, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said, adding that the NHI Administration and Chunghwa Telecom would increase the system’s bandwidth.
From 9am to 2pm yesterday, the system had received 88,000 preorders, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) told a news conference at the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei.
People should not scramble to order masks, as they have until Thursday next week before orders start to be fulfilled, said Chen, who heads the center.
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