Girl dies after nursing blunder
A nine-month-old baby girl who was given the wrong medication at Pingtung's Love First Clinic (崇愛診所), died in Kaohsiung's Chang Gung Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night. The baby fell into a coma after a clinic nurse mistook euglucon, a drug to lower blood sugar level, for periactin, usually used to treat fever-related symptoms. The girl was transferred to the Kaohsiung hospital on Dec. 8. On Wednesday night, her situation deteriorated and she suffered heart and lung failures. She died at 8:30pm. Pingtung's local department of health revoked the license of the clinic on Dec. 16. On Dec. 17, the owner of the clinic was fined NT$150,000 for negligence. According to the Department of Health, the clinic administered the wrong medicine to at least 122 patients and affected the health of 11 babies. The investigation into the medical blunder continues.
Thaksin vows to help police
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed yesterday to track down and punish the influential people believed to be behind a gang smuggling stolen luxury cars from Taiwan to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Two shipments of stolen cars, including Mercedes-Benzes, Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans worth more than US$1 million, were seized by customs agents in Bangkok's outskirts on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17, officials said. Thai Customs Department chief Chaovalit Sethametheekul was quoted in local press reports as saying the smuggling gang responsible for bringing "more than 100" stolen cars in from Taiwan included suspects from Cambodia, Taiwan, Myanmar and Thailand. The reports said powerful Thai politicians were believed to be protecting the gang, which sold the stolen vehicles in Cambodia and Laos, where cars' steering wheels are on the left side, like Taiwan.
Gao's `Snow' opens in Taipei
Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian's (高行健) first opera production, Snow in August, premiered at the National Theater in Taipei yesterday. In addition to a full house, the opera -- based on Gao's play, which depicts the legend of a seventh-century zen master -- has attracted art-festival organizers from the US and neighboring Asian countries, according to a spokesman for the Council for Cultural Affairs. The council is a major promoter of Gao's work to bring Snow in August to the stage. Acclaimed actor Wu Hsing-kuo plays the leading role in the production, backed by 50 performers, a symphony orchestra, a percussion band and the chorus of the National Taiwan Junior College of Performing Arts in Taipei.
Researchers grow liver cells
Researchers at the Biomedical Engineering Center of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) have succeeded in developing liver cells from embryonic stem cells that can be used to repair damaged livers and to test new drugs, an ITRI spokesman said yesterday. Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to form any adult cells, such as bone, muscle, liver or blood cells. The spokesman said that the research team is the second in the world to grow liver cells, following work by researchers at the Geron Incorporation of the US. As the only stem cell research center in Taiwan, the Biomedical Engineering Center has developed a cell-colony bank to grow cells for local biomedical labs, he said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,