Inmates at the Taitung Drug Abuser Treatment Center have been recruited to help wash linen for the county’s hotels and hostels, which have seen a surge in domestic tourists.
The inmates, who were hired by a private commercial laundry service on Tuesday, would “help alleviate staff shortages while doing some good by helping the development of the local tourism industry,” the center said.
Domestic tourism has surged this year, as Taiwanese cannot travel abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and hotels in Taitung are booked to 90 percent capacity until September, when schools are to open, Taitung Department of Tourism statistics showed.
Two weeks ago, a large hotel in Taitung City was unable to have its bed sheets, towels, comforters and bathroom mats washed in time by its normal laundry service — which was inundated with work from other hotels — and was forced to send 289 guests to another hotel, the center said.
The center responded by offering 10 of its inmates to be hired by the laundry service to assist with washing, it said.
Domestic tourism has been on the rise nationwide, but Taitung County in particular has seen a surge in tourism as there have been no cases of COVID-19 infection there, center secretary Tseng Sheng-chien (曾盛乾) said.
Working for the laundry service would also put the inmates in touch with a real work environment and the experience of keeping a job, which would better prepare them for their return to society, Tseng said.
Yu Kuo-feng (游國豐), general manager of the laundry service, said that his company is handling linen — as well as bathing robes, towels and rugs — for 1,800 rooms in the county.
Every day the company washes linen from 8am until 4am the following day, he said.
The 10 inmates from the center are a great help in relieving the pressure on his company, which otherwise would have had insufficient workers to handle the workload, he said.
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
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu