Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it.
The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Chen said an imported case was also confirmed on Sunday: a Taiwanese man who had been on a fishing vessel with six foreign nationals.
The foreigners were suspected to be illegal immigrants and they tested positive last week, he said.
“Although the local COVID-19 alert level will be lowered tomorrow [today], I must stress that the border control measures remain the same,” Chen said.
“Foreign nationals who do not hold a valid Alien Resident Certificate or resident visa are still temporarily banned from entering Taiwan, with the exception of those with special permissions for emergencies or humanitarian reasons,” he said.
“Visitors are also temporarily prohibited from making flight connections in Taiwan,” he said, adding that the policies are subject to change based on the global and local COVID-19 situation, as well as the implementation of disease prevention measures in local communities.
Chen said that about 1.44 million people who have registered with the online COVID-19 vaccination booking system and selected the AstraZeneca vaccine would receive a text message today to book an appointment for the next round of inoculations from Friday to Friday next week.
Eligible recipients include about 1.18 million people born before 1984, about 3,400 residents of Keelung and Yilan County who missed their appointments due to a typhoon last week and about 250,000 people who received a text message last week, but did not book an appointment.
After receiving a text message, eligible recipients can book an appointment from 10am today until midday on Thursday, Chen said.
The level 3 COVID-19 alert is to be lowered to level 2 today, raising the maximum number of people allowed at indoor gatherings to 50 and at outdoor gatherings to 100.
However, the center still discourages people who do not live together from gathering frequently and for too long, he said.
Asked if playing mahjong with friends and relatives would be allowed, Chen said the center is not against the activity if participants can maintain social distance and wear masks.
However, the advisory is difficult to implement and some local governments have kept the ban on playing mahjong, he said.
The Ministry of Education has required teachers from junior-high school to lower levels to either get a COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative rapid COVID-19 test result before they can return to school, but some teachers have voiced concerns about receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Asked about the issue, Chen said the center respects the education ministry’s policy, and it understands that some people do not want to receive certain brands of vaccine and some do not want to get vaccinated at all, so there is the option of providing a negative test result.
Chen asked people not to be too selective with vaccines, unless they have physiological reasons, and urged them to get inoculated as soon as possible.
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
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