People can safely eat domestic pork, as African swine fever has not spread in Taiwan, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday, calling on people not to disseminate misinformation about the disease.
Demand for pork products usually rises ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, but false information about the disease has affected domestic pork sales, Chen told a news conference in Taipei.
A netizen named Gina Lin this month on Facebook wrote that the disease had been found in Taoyuan and warned people not to eat pork products, the council said.
Disinformation could undercut quarantine work and might trigger panic, the council said, adding that on Tuesday it reported the post to the Taipei Police Department.
The council is confident that African swine fever has not spread in the nation and domestic pork products are safe, as they undergo strict checks before reaching the market, Chen said.
While the disease is fatal to pigs, the virus is not transmitted to humans, National Taiwan University Graduate Institute of Toxicology professor Chiang Chih-kang (姜至剛) said, adding that people should not worry about risks to human health.
The council said it has instructed customs officials to check carry-on luggage of visitors from areas that are more likely to be the source of infection — China, Hong Kong and Macau — after Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Monday ordered that all such luggage be manually checked.
The council on Dec. 18 increased fines for first offenders caught illegally carrying pork products from areas infected by the disease to NT$200,000 (US$6,485) and repeat offenders to NT$1 million.
Since then, customs officials as of Friday had intercepted 62 illegal pork products from China, while no travelers arriving from elsewhere have been intercepted, council data showed.
Since China reported its first infection in early August last year, the disease has spread to its 24 provinces and regions, with 107 cases reported as of yesterday, council data showed.
Mongolia on Monday reported its first outbreak, making it the second Asian nation to report the disease.
Later yesterday, the council said that another pig carcass found on an unpopulated island in Lienchiang County on Thursday has tested positive for African swine fever.
The virus type was an exact match to the virus in China, it said, adding that the carcass might have floated from China.
It was the second infected pig found near Taiwan proper after a carcass found in Kinmen County last month tested positive for the disease, the council said.
However, it said they were isolated cases.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
The Taipei City Government yesterday officially launched the “YouBike 2.0” system, an upgraded version of the bicycle rental service, saying that it aims to expand the service to more than 1,200 stations throughout the city. The system yesterday activated 160 new stations, in addition to 103 stations in the Gongguan (公館) shopping area near the National Taiwan University campus. A trial run of YouBike2.0 was launched there in January last year. The Taipei Department of Transportation said that bicycles of the upgraded system feature solar panels and card censors, which allow users to rent them by swiping their EasyCard or scanning a QR
‘COLD ATTITUDE’: The man claimed that his wife of nearly 50 years had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years and that she refused to bathe A court last month rejected a man’s application for a divorce over lack of evidence that his wife “would rather feed stray dogs” than her husband. The 90-year-old man, surnamed Chao (趙), filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 50 years, surnamed Tung (董), saying that she had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years. “Every morning my wife goes to Gaoping Bridge to feed stray dogs and does not come home until late,” Chao said. “I am 90 and I need to be taken care of,” he said, complaining of his wife’s “cold attitude” toward him. Chao also complained in
DATA-DRIVEN: The dedicated department used big data to find sexual harassment hot spots on the Mass Rapid Transit system to take measures against perpetrators Most incidents of sexual harassment and secret photography in Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system over the past five years occurred at three stations, the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei City Police Department said in a statement yesterday. Most incidents were recorded at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station, followed by Taipei Main and Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT stations, the department said, adding that the results were obtained through big data analysis. The system, which serves Taipei and New Taipei City, handles about 2.2 million passengers per day, and most cases of secret photography and sexual harassment — usually involving touching a victims buttocks or chest