Donation reminder launched
The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation and Facebook yesterday colaunched a Blood Donations feature for Facebook in Taiwan, which would alert people to donate blood in times of need, the foundation said in a statement. Although the blood donation rate in Taiwan is higher than in many other nations, its inventory has fallen over the past year. “Blood inventory in Taiwan was lower than the seven-day safe level for as many as 86 days in the first half of 2020 alone,” the foundation said. The feature could greatly improve blood collection efficiency, it said. People can participate in the program by going to facebook.com/donateblood to register to be alerted when nearby blood banks need donations. The Central Epidemic Command Center has issued an advisory that people who have returned from traveling abroad, have recovered from COVID-19 or have had close contact with a confirmed case should not donate blood for 28 days.
More workers furloughed
The number of furloughed workers has grown over the past week as activity in the manufacturing sector slowed amid uneven demand for exports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labor said. As of yesterday, 1,049 companies had unpaid leave programs, while 25,208 workers had agreed to go on furlough, up 1,601 from a week earlier, ministry data showed. Among the companies, 353 were manufacturers, 332 were retailers or wholesalers, and 71 were in the service sector, the data showed. Manufacturers accounted for two-thirds of the companies that began furlough programs from July 16 to yesterday. The majority of employees on unpaid leave were in the manufacturing sector at 16,517, followed by retail and wholesale with 4,778, and transportation and warehousing at 1,138, the data showed. It was the highest number of people furloughed in the manufacturing sector since the pandemic started, a ministry official said.
Lottery to reach NT$3.1bn
The Power Lottery jackpot on July 27 is expected to reach a record NT$3.1 billion (US$105 million), Taiwan Lottery Co said on Thursday. No one has won the lottery’s top prize in 47 draws, the longest in the game’s history, meaning that the prize money has built up, Taiwan Lottery said. If only one person wins the jackpot, it would be the highest payout to a winning ticket holder, the company said. The previous record jackpot was about NT$3 billion, on April 23, 2015. A Power Lottery ticket consists of seven numbers — a group of six numbers chosen from one to 38 and a seventh additional number from one to eight. To win the top prize, all seven numbers must match the numbers drawn.
Zoo nicknames panda cub
A giant panda cub born almost one month ago at Taipei Zoo has been nicknamed Jou Jou (柔柔) because of its gentle nature and chubbiness, zookeepers said on Wednesday. The cub, born on June 28 to Yuan Yuan (圓圓), appears to have inherited the calm and quiet nature of its father, Tuan Tuan (團團), the zookeepers said, referring to two giant pandas that China gave to Taiwan in 2008. The zoo said that Jou Jou has been growing well and remains quite plump. The cub is to receive a proper name later, local media reports quoted Taipei Zoo spokesman Eric Tsao (曹先紹) as saying. Tsao added that the formal naming process would involve further observation of the cub’s nature and behavior, after which a series of names would be put forward for a public vote.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan