The Ministry of Education is distributing 6.45 million masks to schools from kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12), as well as after-school institutions as part of government efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak as the spring semester starts today.
As K-12 schools reopen after a two-week delay due to the outbreak, the ministry said that it is also providing them with 25,000 infrared thermometers and 84,000 liters of alcohol-based sanitizers.
Of the 6.45 million masks, 500,000 have been earmarked for private kindergartens, 770,000 for after-school tutoring institutions and childcare centers, and 5.18 million for K-12 schools, Department of Planning head Huang Wen-ling (黃雯玲) said on Sunday.
The masks are for “backup” purposes and should be used only in emergency situations, such as if a child or teacher develops a fever, cough, sore throat or respiratory symptoms, Huang added.
The thermometers are being distributed in two batches, with 12,500 units having been delivered as of yesterday and 12,500 more to be delivered by Monday next week, she said.
The distribution of 40,000 liters of alcohol-based sanitizers to private kindergartens and other institutions started on Feb. 10 and would be completed within three weeks, while another 44,000 liters are being distributed to schools over a three-week period that started on Monday last week, Huang said.
Most of the nation’s universities are to begin their spring semester on Monday next week after an extended break due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
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