The National Immigration Agency (NIA) announced late on Saturday that restrictions on Chinese business visitors would be eased, with the duration of stay extended to one month from 14 days. NIA Deputy Director-General Ho Jung-chun (何榮村) said the relaxation was part of amended regulations governing visits by Chinese business executives and professionals promulgated by the Ministry of the Interior the previous day. Ho said Chinese citizens made about 80,000 business visits to Taiwan last year. Previous regulations stipulated that local companies with an annual turnover of less than NT$30 million (US$917,400) were eligible to host a maximum of 15 Chinese business visitors annually. Under the new regulations, that number was raised to 45. The number of Chinese business visitors that local businesses with annual turnover of NT$30 million or more can host each year has been raised to 200 from the initial 50.
Two new A(H1N1) cases
The Central Epidemics Command Centers (CECC) announced two imported A(H1N1) cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan to 19. “Case 18” was a 32-year-old Taiwanese female who had returned to Taiwan following a trip to Australia. Her husband was also listed as a possible swine flu case and quarantined. He displayed symptoms of the illness, CECC spokesman Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said. “The rest of the tour group — 13 people altogether — as well as 29 passengers who shared a flight with “Case 18” and sat in close proximity to her, were asked to monitor their health and report to the Centers for Disease Control if they developed flu-like symptoms,” he said. “Case 19” was a 15-year-old boy of US nationality who arrived in Taiwan from Utah with his mother after transits in Los Angeles and Tokyo, Shih said. As the boy’s mother displayed symptoms of the flu, she was quarantined and listed as a suspected case, Shih said, adding that six people who came in close contact with the boy were asked to stay home and monitor their health.
Group wants free vaccines
The government should consider including many vaccines needed by children in the national health insurance plan as many parents with young children find vaccine shots expensive, the Taiwan Immunization Vision and Strategy (TIVS) alliance said. Citing a poll conducted last month, TIVS secretary-general Lee Bing-ying (李秉穎) said that while 67.7 percent of respondents said that as a result of the economic downturn they were more reluctant to bring their children to clinics for vaccine shots, 92.9 percent of parents nevertheless paid for the service. “While [parents] worry about money, they still pay to ensure their loved ones are protected,” Lee said.
Taipei targets graffiti
Taipei City will crack down on graffiti on public property and redouble efforts to keep the city clean. Individuals found to have arbitrarily defaced public property will face fines of up to NT$6,000, Department of Environmental Protection officials said yesterday. The city made the decision after workers had trouble cleaning graffiti done with certain types of markers or spray paint and had to spend considerable sums of money to get it off walls and other venues. The government advised graffiti enthusiasts to practice art at designated areas.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
ADAPTING: The CECC said the policy change would happen this week at the earliest, while PCR testing stations would be used to diagnose people and prescribe drugs The general public would be able to use a positive rapid test result that has been confirmed by a doctor for COVID-19 diagnosis starting later this week at the soonest, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 79,441 new local infections and 53 deaths. The center on Saturday announced that it was expanding the rapid test diagnosis policy to people living in indigenous townships and outlying islands, starting today. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, yesterday said the policy might be further expanded to include “all people” this week, at the soonest. He