Each local government must implement disease prevention policies based on its own considerations, so they cannot be identical, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday.
Her remarks were in response to questions about why Taipei did not follow New Taipei City in closing all public sports centers, activity centers and museums for 14 days, starting on Friday.
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) made the sudden announcement to close those areas at the opening of a public sports center on Thursday to reduce gatherings of people in confined spaces and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as a person confirmed to have the virus had visited a city public sports center.
Citing comments by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) comments on Friday that Taipei and New Taipei City can cooperate in disease prevention, but it would be impossible for their operations to be identical, Huang said that each city or county must address its own situation, such as managing medical resources and public facilities.
The public sports centers in Taipei disinfect exercise equipment with alcohol regularly, so the city’s policy at present is not to close them, but to enhance prevention measures and implement a real-name system, Huang said.
“All users must register when they enter and exit the centers, so the city government can know how long these people stayed in the facilities,” she said.
Preventing people from using public sports centers might make them use private gyms, where managing disease prevention is more difficult, Huang said, adding that Taiwan has not yet entered the stage of COVID-19 community spread.
“If everyone can do a good job at protecting themselves, communities will remain safe, so unless all facilities are closed nationwide, people will still find private venues to go to,” she said.
Because the Taipei City Government wants people to reduce close contact with each other, while still leading normal lives, including using public transportation, it is considering implementing a real-name registration system at public facilities and enhancing other protective measures, she said.
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