Taiwanese in China’s Hubei Province are to be allowed to return to the nation on their own starting tomorrow, when the CPBL would be able to admit up to 1,000 spectators to baseball games, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads of the center, said that Taiwanese in China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, would not be required to take chartered flights or quasi-chartered flights from designated airports to return home.
The Chinese government imposed an unprecedented lockdown of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei on Jan. 23, leaving more than 1,000 Taiwanese, as well as their Chinese spouses and children, stranded in the province.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The CECC in late February announced that the National Immigration Agency had marked the identification papers of the Taiwanese in Hubei, and that they would only be allowed to return on chartered flights.
Chen said the special markings would not be removed to allow immigration officers at airports to identify Taiwanese returning from Hubei, and that they would be required to stay at a centralized quarantine facility for 14 days before returning home.
Meanwhile, from tomorrow, up to 1,000 spectators would be able attend each CPBL game, he said.
Photo: Seanwen Yang, courtesy of the Yushan National Park Administrative Office
Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said that online reservations for lodges in national parks with mountains — including Yushan (玉山), Taroko (太魯閣) and Shei-Pa (雪霸) national parks — would be reopened today.
Chen announced that one new imported COVID-19 case (No. 439) was confirmed yesterday.
The case is a woman in her 30s, who had worked in the UK since January and returned to Taiwan on Apr. 26.
The woman reported that she had a stuffy nose and felt fatigued when she returned to Taiwan, so she received a COVID-19 test at the airport and was taken to a centralized quarantine facility, but was moved to a quarantine hotel the next day as the test came back negative, he said.
She continued to have a runny and stuffy nose, and developed an abnormal sense of taste during her stay at the hotel, so she was tested again on Monday and the result came back positive, Chen said.
CECC advisory specialist panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said that the woman thought she might have been experiencing menstrual fatigue on her trip back to Taiwan, so the center could not pinpoint when her COVID-19 symptoms began.
Applications for the Executive Yuan’s extended COVID-19 relief program — a one-time payment of NT$10,000 to workers not covered by social insurance programs — opened yesterday.
The center is grateful to officials at local district offices for handling the extra work, Chen said.
Those eligible are urged to not all apply on the first few days, as it would cause the offices to be overcrowded, he added.
The applications would be reviewed generously, promptly and in a way that is convenient to applicants, he said, adding that if people cannot provide documents to prove their eligibility, their application would most likely be accepted if they sign an affidavit.
About 99 percent of people who are not covered by any social insurance program and have very little savings should be trusted as long as they sign the affidavit, Chen said, adding that they would need to write a brief description of how their jobs have been affected by the pandemic.
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