People returning from places with level 2 and level 3 travel advisories amid the COVID-19 pandemic must wait 28 days before donating blood, the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation said yesterday.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has issued a level 3 “warning” travel advisory for China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Macau and South Korea, while a level 2 “alert” travel advisory has been issued for Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US states of Washington, New York and California.
Starting from Tuesday, the travel advisories for Dubai, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, the UK, and all of the EU, except for Bulgaria and Croatia, are to be raised to level 3, the center added yesterday.
To ensure safe blood, people must not donate blood within 28 days of leaving these countries and regions, the foundation said, adding that the same rule applies to those who have come into close contact with people infected or who have recovered from COVID-19.
All blood donors would have their temperature checked and their hands sanitized before donating blood, it said.
The foundation said that it is providing health counseling to donors and stepping up sanitation efforts at all of its donation stations.
If a blood donor develops a fever or exhibits signs of other pneumonia-like symptoms shortly after donating blood, they should promptly contact the donation station that they visited to inform them of their situation.
In other news, CECC advisory specialist panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) yesterday said that while the nation has no plans to follow the Netherlands’ example and screen all medical personnel for COVID-19, it might at some point conduct antibody testing to see whether people have ever been infected with the virus.
Mass screenings are usually implemented when there is community spread, but the nation has been able to limit the virus’ spread to isolated or imported cases, so it would not be adopting the method, he said.
The only case of cluster infection so far began after the 34th patient was hospitalized, Chang added.
An option that the CECC is considering involves the detection of antibodies, which would allow screening in greater numbers over a shorter period, he said, adding that testing the serum can determine whether someone previously contracted the coronavirus.
Additional reporting by Lin Hui-chin
Without completed infrastructure and training, the expedited sale of new F-16s from the US could become a burden rather than a help, a military official said yesterday. Reuters on Thursday last week reported that Washington is looking to accelerate the delivery of 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft in response to what it sees as increasing intimidation by Beijing. Under the terms of the original US$8 billion deal signed in 2019, the US is expected to deliver a single-seater and double-seater for testing next year, then deliver the 66 new aircraft in batches of four or five from 2024 to 2026. The officials
SLIGHTS: Beijing intends to display pro-unification messages and prominently feature Taiwanese volunteers in its propaganda videos, an official said Taiwanese officials are poised to boycott next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, an official with knowledge of the matter said yesterday, citing concerns that China would slight Taiwan during the Games. This year’s Winter Olympics are scheduled to open on Friday next week amid a diplomatic boycott by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, New Zealand, the UK and the US in response to China’s human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang and crackdowns on democracy advocates in Hong Kong. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that a Cabinet-appointed task force has determined that Taiwan’s delegation would abstain from the opening and
‘CHINESE STYLE’: Taipei residents do not want smart city efforts based on ‘centralized control, tracking and mass surveillance,’ the campaign’s initiators said Taipei City Councilor Miao Po-ya (苗博雅) yesterday said that her campaign against the Taipeipass (台北通) app has garnered almost 10,000 signatures since Friday, but exposed her to insults and threats by telephone and through social media. It seems to be a “coordinated attack,” as all the messages follow a similar pattern, she said, citing as an example one saying: “We love the Taipeipass. Do not block the smart city plan. Stop interfering with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).” Some people had left disparaging remarks and false information when signing up for the online petition, and there have been attempts to disrupt her
INCREASED COOPERATION: Part of the funding is to be used to further the aims of a Taiwan-US human resources development platform launched in 2015, a source said An increase of ￥100 million (US$878,765) to Japan’s annual foreign affairs budget is for “advancing the Japan-Taiwan relationship,” information published on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site showed. The ministry’s budget for last year was ￥1.7 billion; it was increased to ￥1.8 billion for this year. The ministry wrote that the additional funding was to be used for “cooperating with allies and like-minded countries to safeguard the universal values of the international community.” Regarding Taiwan specifically, the ministry said that it was “responding to an increasingly complex security and economic environment,” and that it aimed to “strengthen diplomacy and cooperation