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Homeland Security

Taiwan mulling easing COVID-19 restrictions as new cases stay at zero

ROC Central News Agency

04/30/2020 07:17 PM

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday it is considering lifting some of the restrictions related to its COVID-19 coronavirus prevention efforts, as Taiwan has recorded no new cases for the fifth consecutive day, leaving the total number at 429.

At a daily press briefing, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the CECC will start discussions with the relevant government agencies and civic organizations about gradually relaxing some of the COVID-19 restrictions in areas such as sports, cultural activities and restaurant dining.

People are advised, however, to remain vigilant, continue to practice good personal hygiene, observe social distancing and wear surgical face masks when necessary, said Chen, who heads the CECC.

The CECC also issued a reminder to Taiwanese citizens returning from abroad to notify airport authorities of any COVID-like symptoms such as a cough or fever on arrival and to contact local health agencies if they develop those types of symptoms during their mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Over the past five days, Taiwan has reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19, as it also did on April 14, 16 and 17.

Furthermore, for 18 consecutive days in April, all of the cases recorded were deemed to be imported, according to CECC statistics.

The data shows that of the 62,844 people in Taiwan who have been tested for COVID-19 since mid-January, 429 were found to have the disease, six have died, and 322 have recovered, to date.

Of the 429 confirmed cases, 343 were imported, 55 were indigenous, and the others were sailors aboard the Navy Panshi Fast Combat Support Ship, which returned from a goodwill mission in the Pacific on April 9, the data showed.

According to the CECC, 585 of the 1,996 people who were found to have had contact with the Panshi sailors were placed in home quarantine, while the others were asked to practice self-health management.

The CECC said 480 of the contacts who were deemed as high-risk were tested for the coronavirus, and 465 were cleared, while the results of the tests on the other 15 are still pending.

Globally, more than 3 million people in 184 countries and regions have contracted the coronavirus, with the United States recording the highest number of confirmed cases at 1,053,963, according to CECC data.

(By Chang Ming-shuan and Emerson Lim)

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