The Taipei City Government yesterday conducted a simulation for a level 4 lockdown, which would close all nonessential businesses and bar entrance into the city.
The death toll from COVID-19 in Taiwan has surpassed that of SARS in a scene unfathomable at this time last year, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said.
There is evidence that the situation has stabilized over the past three days, as ambulances are no longer being turned away from hospitals due to a lack of beds, he said.
However, if the situation continues, “quantitative changes would create qualitative ones,” Ko said, asking what would happen if the city must lock down for months or if cases surge once more.
Therefore, the city must “plan for the worst to be best prepared,” he added.
In the simulation, participants led by Ko practiced mobilizing the city government to manage all levels of response with the goal of identifying problematic areas.
The first step would be commanding the Taipei Epidemic Command Center to remain open around the clock, while each administrative district would be instructed to set up disaster response centers, the city government said.
The city would also coordinate closely with the governments of Keelung, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, it said.
All schools and offices would be closed, and no one would be allowed to go outside except to buy food or seek medical treatment, or to perform other necessary or official duties, it added.
In addition, roadblocks would be erected to restrict movement between regions, the city said.
Seventy-one control points would be set up on access roads and highway ramps to restrict the flow of private vehicles into the city, while trains would not stop at stations within Taipei, it said.
All mass transit services would only operate within city limits, meaning that MRT service between Taipei and New Taipei City would be suspended, the city government said.
The YouBike service would also be suspended, it added.
Police would be dispatched for crowd control at markets, which would be instructed to restrict sales of certain items if supply becomes limited, it said.
About 21,000 essential businesses would be allowed to operate, including restaurants, bakeries, fruit and vegetable vendors, gas stations and supermarkets, it said.
Traditional markets would operate with limited hours, it added.
As for medical supplies, the city said it would seek assistance from the Ministry of Health and Welfare to establish backup hospitals and evaluate the potential of converting regional hospitals into specialized COVID-19 facilities.
It would also aim to provide 1,400 quarantine hotel rooms, it said.
If fatalities surpass the city’s daily cremation capacity of 224 bodies, temporary morgues could be established to store up to 200 bodies, it added.
Finally, the Taipei City Government said it would request assistance from the 6th Army Command 33rd Chemical Corps to sanitize the city, while 1,270 troops from the military’s disaster relief force could be deployed initially.
Malaysian pop singer Eison Chai (艾成) was found dead yesterday after apparently falling from the Luzhou MRT station building in New Taipei City, local police said. The 40-year-old entertainer fell from the building at around 10 a.m., and was found dead on the spot near the Luzhou MRT station's Exit 3. No other details were immediately available, and an investigation has been launched into the incident, the Luzhou Police Precinct of the New Taipei City Police Department said in a statement. Eison released his first album " Mr. I" in 2004. He rose to fame after winning season two of
SAVED: Five Taiwanese were found waiting in a hotel to travel to what they thought would be high-paying jobs, while a 21-year-old was found trapped in an apartment Nine people were arrested in separate raids on Monday for allegedly colluding with foreign human trafficking syndicates and duping Taiwanese jobseekers into becoming “cyberslaves” in Cambodia. Cyberslavery refers to people being enslaved and forced to work for syndicates involved in cyberscams. Police in Changhua County said the 41-year-old female suspect, surnamed Chang (張), has been detained on suspicion of working with a Chinese human trafficking ring, and is alleged to have sent 50 Taiwanese over a five-month period to Cambodia, after posting adverts online promising high-paying jobs. Prosecutors said that Chang lead the ring’s Taiwan operations and was paid NT$5 million (US$166,772) in
MATTER OF TRUST: Alicia Kearns said Taiwan would benefit from teaching Mandarin in the UK, while slamming China’s Confucius Institutes for not teaching ‘accurate history’ British lawmaker Alicia Kearns has called on Taiwan to play a bigger role in teaching Mandarin in the UK to enhance public understanding about Taiwan as Britons become increasingly distrustful of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In a recent interview, the Conservative Party lawmaker expressed her hope that the government of Taiwan “comes proactively to the British government” to offer to help Britons improve their Mandarin. A member of the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Kearns in June proposed an amendment to the Higher Education Bill, which would give the government the power to shut down China’s Confucius Institutes over
Beijing is expected to continue flexing its muscles ahead of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) National Congress in the autumn, stoking fears of a cross-strait military crisis. However, the mood among Taiwanese is mixed. Three polls released in the past two weeks — by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, the Chinese Association of Public Opinion Research and online media Convergence Media — showed that 60 to 78 percent of respondents were not worried about large-scale live-fire military drills launched by Beijing in the wake of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei on Aug. 2 and 3. “Their actions are