The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday reported no new cases of COVID-19 — the second time this week — and confirmed that Taiwanese and WHO experts had exchanged information about the pandemic via telephone a day earlier.
The center last reported zero new cases on Tuesday — the first time since March 9 that no new cases had been reported.
As of the center’s daily news briefing in Taipei yesterday, 155 confirmed patients had been released from isolation, up from 137 on Wednesday, the center said.
That was out of a total of 395 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan — 340 imported and 55 domestic — out of which six have died, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.
The sources of 10 local infections remain unknown, he said.
Eight have completed a 14-day observation period, while two — the nation’s 336th and 379th cases — remain under investigation, Chen said, but added that the observation period for the 336th case, which was reported on April 2, was to end yesterday.
There have been no new domestic infections reported for four consecutive days, he said.
The center last reported a local infection on Sunday — one of three new cases that day.
The center on Tuesday created a legal affairs division, headed by Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂), to provide faster and more meticulous legal assistance, Chen said.
Advisory specialist panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) confirmed that a telephone conversation had taken place on Wednesday between the center and WHO officials.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, WHO principal legal officer Steve Solomon said that he and WHO COVID-19 technical lead Maria van Kerkhove had spoken with Taiwanese health authorities in February and earlier that day.
In the conference call, which lasted about an hour, WHO officials briefed the center on the global COVID-19 situation, while the center shared the measures that it has taken and the situation in Taiwan, Chang said.
The WHO officials were curious about the situation in Taiwan and wanted to know how the nation is managing to contain the coronavirus so well, he said.
Taiwanese experts expressed the hope that the nation could participate in more WHO events and told the officials that Taiwan is “very willing” to share with other nations its experience containing COVID-19, he added.
Meanwhile, asked about the results of a TVBS poll showing that he would defeat Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) in a Taipei mayoral election, Chen Shih-chung said that he has no plans to run for public office.
The poll, conducted via telephone from Monday to Wednesday, found that Chen would receive 53 percent of support and Chiang would receive 36 percent in a hypothetical head-to-head election tomorrow.
TAKES THE CAKE: Chinese diplomats tried to take photographs of people attending a National Day event in Suva, before reportedly assaulting a Taiwanese diplomat The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday condemned the Chinese embassy in Fiji over a fracas at its Double Ten National Day event at a Suva hotel, while a lawmaker demanded that the ministry file a lawsuit against Chinese embassy personnel for injuring a Taiwanese diplomat at the event. The Grubsheet news blog on Sunday and New Zealand-based Asia-Pacific Report Web site yesterday reported that two members of the Chinese embassy in Suva tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Oct. 8 to take photographs of
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
The US, Japan and Australia conducted trilateral naval exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, the US Seventh Fleet announced yesterday. It was their fifth joint operations this year in the fleet’s area of operations, it said in a statement. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain joined the JS Kirisame of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Arunta. The Arunta’s commanding officer, Commander Troy Duggan, said that Australia was continuing to build on its already close relationship with Japan and the US. “This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,”
UPS AND DOWNS: The institute’s annual Asia Power Index says that Taiwan this year has seen one of the biggest gains in diplomatic influences The US remains the top power in the Indo-Pacific, but has suffered the biggest relative fall in its standing in the region over the past year, partly because of the loss of prestige over the mishandling of COVID-19, the Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index shows. Releasing the latest annual results yesterday, the Australia-based foreign policy think tank said while China’s standing had stalled, it remained in second place and was believed to be on track to match the US by the end of this decade. Australia was one of the few countries to gain in the scores of comprehensive power this year,