Rail services reduced
High-speed rail services would be reduced from April 18 to June 21 amid falling demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said yesterday. The reductions would apply from Friday to Sunday during off-peak hours, the company said. About 41 services would be cut each week, or 4 percent of the weekly total of 1,016, it said. At least three trains would run every hour during operation hours, it added. Services would return to normal before the Dragon Boat Festival on June 25-28 and is expected to cause a surge in demand, the company said. It said it would monitor passenger volume and make adjustments to its services if necessary. By the end of next month, all 12 stations on the high-speed rail network would be equipped with infrared thermometers and people with a temperature of more than 37.5°C would not be allowed to board trains and would be given a full refund, it said.
Taichung clubs shut down
Taichung’s five major nightclubs have agreed to shut down for 14 days to support the city’s efforts to contain COVID-19, the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. The decision came after officials from the city’s Civil Affairs Bureau and Health Bureau visited several bars, clubs and other entertainment venues on Sunday to persuade them to close their doors, as the nation continues to battle the spread of COVID-19, police said. Those that agreed to shut down for 14 days are Muse, Alta Club, Show House, 18TC and X-Cube, the five most popular nightclubs in the city, they said. Some of them decided to the close immediately, while the others said their shutdown would take effect yesterday, police added.
Special prizes unclaimed
Five receipts that each won NT$10 million (US$328,893) in the November-to-December draw of the Uniform Invoice Lottery have yet to be claimed, the Ministry of Finance said on Sunday. The deadline for claiming the prizes is May 5, the ministry said. Thirteen receipts with the number 59647042 won the special NT$10 million prize and eight of them have been claimed so far, it said. Of the five that have yet to be claimed, three were for purchases under NT$100, it added. One winner bought a pack of dried berries from a 7-Eleven convenience store for NT$35, another spent NT$79 on gas and the other bought a matcha latte for NT$80 at a fast-food chain, the ministry said. Eighteen receipts with the number 01260528 won the NT$2 million prize, but only eight of them have been claimed, it said.
Postal services suspended
Chunghwa Post on Friday announced that postal services to 102 countries have been suspended due to flight cancelations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Postal services would not resume until flight services provided by the nation’s carriers return to normal, it said. The countries affected by the disruption include India, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Oman, Bahrain, Brunei, Laos, Armenia, Turkey, Israel, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Luxembourg, Spain, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, Senegal, Brazil, El Salvador, Chile and Mexico.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since