Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said he would not replace Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) as head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) last week called for Chen Shih-chung to be replaced, citing the contracting economy and panic buying of daily necessities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Taiwan People’s Party this week urged Su to take over the reins at the CECC himself, saying that there were contradictions between how Su and Chen Shih-chung viewed plans to evacuate Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan, China, where the disease emerged.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Chen Shih-chung “is very professional and responsible, and he has done a great job,” Su told reporters at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. “He will not be replaced.”
He has performed admirably “on the front line” while commanding work to contain the novel coronavirus, while behind the scenes, a large team has worked seamlessly to perform tasks from delivery and distribution of masks to drafting economic stimulus policies, Su said.
Chen Shih-chung’s approval rating reflects public approval of the overall team, Su said.
Asked about complaints by Taiwanese in China’s Hubei Province that two flights to evacuate people via Shanghai Pudong International Airport are “inconvenient” and “expensive,” with the airport more than 1,000km from Hubei, Su said that the airfare was agreed on by the organizing agencies and China Airlines to ease the financial burden people seeking to return home.
As for the Hubei Provincial Taiwan Affairs Office’s call for Taiwanese to be allowed to board homebound flights in Wuhan, rather than Shanghai, Su said that it could be an option after the Chinese government lifts the lockdown on the city.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic