The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas.
The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection.
“When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill and call 1922 for inquiries,” the first message read.
Photo: Chang Yi-chen, Taipei Times
The second message read: “Please avoid going to scenic areas near Kenting (墾丁). Practice social distancing of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, or wear a mask. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill and tell the doctor your travel history. Call 1922 for inquiries.”
The first message was sent to cellphones near 11 scenic spots: Alishan National Forest Recreation Area (阿里山國家森林遊樂區); Dongdamen Night Market (東大門夜市) in Hualien County; Wenhua Road in Chiayi City; Guanzihling (關子嶺), Hutoupi (虎頭埤), Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫) and Wusanto Huching Resort Hotel in Tainan; Bade Pond Ecological Park (埤塘風景區) in Taoyuan; Singda Harbor (興達港) and Chishan Old Street (旗山老街) in Kaohsiung; and Chaotian Temple (朝天宮) in Yunlin County’s Beigang Township (北港).
The second message was sent to phones south of Pingtung County’s Nanjhou Township (南州), including Kenting National Park.
Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, yesterday afternoon said that visitor numbers at scenic spots on the first two days of the holiday were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing.
“We urge people who are already in those areas to keep the proper social distances and wear a mask, and others to avoid going,” he said, adding that traveling on holidays is relaxing, but social distancing should not be neglected, as there is an increased risk of virus transmission in large groups of people.
Asked whether the center is worried that high rates of domestic tourism on holidays might increase the spread of COVID-19, as happened in Japan and some doctors have warned, Chen said that community spread of the disease began in Japan before the cherry blossom season, while Taiwan has only a few sporadic domestic cases and everyone who returned to Taiwan from overseas was ordered into home quarantine.
After evaluating the risks and considering people’s vacation needs, the center did not announce a “stay home” order for the holidays, but people have to be extra careful and practice enhanced disease prevention measures, he said.
The CECC added that people should wear a mask on public transportation and cooperate with body temperature policies.
Those who refuse to cooperate would face a fine of up to NT$15,000, it said.
‘ASSERTIVE STEPS’: The report says that the US should enable Taiwan to construct asymmetric defense capabilities that would allow it to engage China on its own terms US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday. “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” has governed the US’ strategic response to China since Trump approved it in February 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” O’Brien was cited as saying. The report assumes that China would “take increasingly assertive steps to compel unification
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same