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Homeland Security

Level 3 COVID-19 alert introduced across Taiwan (Update)

ROC Central News Agency

05/19/2021 04:50 PM

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday raised the COVID-19 alert to Level 3 nationwide after the country recorded over 100 locally-transmitted cases for the fifth consecutive day.

The alert is provisionally effective from today through May 28, the CECC said.

The nationwide alert comes after the CECC raised the COVID-19 alert for Taipei and New Taipei to Level 3 on Saturday, as the two northern cities struggled to contain a spiraling number of domestic infections.

Under the CECC's four-tier alert system, a Level 3 alert means people are now required to wear masks at all times when they leave their homes, indoor gatherings of more than five people are not allowed and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.

A Level 3 alert stops short of a lockdown and goes into effect when more than three community clusters are confirmed in a week or over 10 domestic cases of unknown origin are reported in a single day.

Taiwan on Wednesday confirmed 275 new cases of COVID-19, with 267 classified as domestic infections.

The new infections on Wednesday brought the total number of cases in the country to 2,533, of which 1,226 cases are domestic infections reported since May 15, according to CECC data.

According to Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), the decision to raise the alert to Level 3 nationwide was made because although the spread started in Taipei and New Taipei, there are now domestic cases across the country.

It is important to synchronize the pandemic response and containment measures taken by all county and city governments to ensure a single standard is enforced around Taiwan, said Chen, who also heads the CECC.

Starting Thursday, a nationwide COIVD-19 virtual meeting will be held every morning. It will be presided over by Deputy Interior Minister Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) and Vice Health Minister Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) and be attended by deputy mayoral and county magistrate level officials from all county and city governments.

The meeting aims to coordinate medical resources and examine the latest COVID-19 cases and updates, Chen Shih-chung said.

The CECC will also hold an extra news briefing following the daily CECC briefing to answer reporters' questions on false information circulating online concerning the coronavirus disease, he added.

According to COVID-19 Level 3 alert guidelines, places of business and public venues other than essential services, law enforcement, medical treatment and government offices, are advised to close.

However, for those that remain open, strict mask wearing and social distancing are required.

(By Chiang Hui-chung, Chen Chieh-ling and Joseph Yeh)


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