The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.
Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow.
Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon, so people have to adapt to “the new normal,” Ko said.
“The world is not the same anymore and there is no way of returning to [the way things were] before,” Ko said, adding that people have to practice risk management in this new situation.
If Taiwan does not report any local infections for a long period, the New Year’s Eve Party would be held as usual, he said.
Citing examples of cluster infections in South Korea, Japan and Singapore, Ko said 15 new COVID-19 cases could emerge in a short period if precautionary measures are not fully implemented.
“When people ask me if the New Year’s Eve Party will be held, my answer is: ‘Who knows?’” Ko said, adding that the events could be canceled only three days before their scheduled date, as anything could happen, so risk management is crucial.
Asked about Ko’s remarks in a separate setting, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said that as infection risk is low in Taiwan, the center respects local governments’ decisions on whether to hold large events, but urged attendees to wear a mask.
Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the CECC, said that each city and county holds a New Year’s Eve Party in a different setting, but they have agreed to cooperate with the CECC’s disease prevention policies based on the latest COVID-19 situation.
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