Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) yesterday pledged at an annual meeting of the cities’ leaders to provide mutual medical services and further collaboration on COVID-19 prevention, denying that their prevention strategies are inconsistent, despite media reports.
Disease prevention should be predicated on the “best preparations for worst-case scenarios,” and the New Taipei City Government has followed the All-out Defense Mobilization Readiness Act (全民防衛動員準備法) in taking precautions allowing it to act decisively if a city lockdown is ordered by the central government, Hou, a former police officer, said on Wednesday.
Ko, a physician and the chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party, said that the Taipei City Government has also taken precautionary measures, but that such measures should not get “too far” ahead of the present coronavirus situation.
Their remarks triggered speculation that the two cities might be diverging on disease-prevention policy.
At yesterday’s meeting, the two mayors constantly applauded each other, vowing to work together to stop the virus’ spread.
The cities are considering a trial of mask dispenser machines and would not let each other’s borders stop them from providing medical treatment, Ko said, adding that the two plan to set up shared locations for isolating COVID-19 patients.
Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Taipei Times
“The two cities are a body of life and there is no problem with inconsistency,” Hou said, adding that he is working closely with Ko on prevention strategies.
A hotline has been set up so that the mayors can handle any emergency, Hou said.
Taipei City Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said that each city notifies the other about any coronavirus-related information so that officials stay informed.
Asked about his party’s suggestion that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) take over from Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) as head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, Ko said the move was not necessary.
Su and Chen should communicate and arrive at a consensus regarding policies, Ko added.
Local media and commentators often compare Chen and Ko, both medical professionals.
While Chen is gaining popularity for his professionalism and pragmatism as the center’s head, Ko has drawn criticism for frequent slips of the tongue. The two have butted heads over the best way to evacuate Taiwanese citizens after the lockdown in Wuhan, China, is lifted.
Ko said that the government should focus on the work at hand and not waste time on a meaningless war of words.
Hou said that New Taipei City would follow the central government’s guidance on disease prevention, adding that the two city leaders are shoulder-to-shoulder on that issue.
Separately, Huang said that the Taipei City Government is considering a special scheme that would hire volunteers to help with home quarantines.
“Local borough wardens and district offices are swamped,” Huang said, adding that she would discuss the project with the Taipei Civil Affairs Bureau while waiting for guidance from the central government.
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
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by