Decision on possible change in Level 3 COVID alert to come Wednesday
ROC Central News Agency
06/22/2021 05:27 PM
Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Taiwan will announce Wednesday whether it plans to extend the current Level 3 COVID-19 alert beyond June 28 when it expires, after it reported under 100 new cases for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The CECC on Tuesday reported 79 new cases of COVID-19, all but one of which were domestically transmitted, as well as six deaths, raising talk of whether current restrictions could be fully or partially lifted.
At a press briefing, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (é™³æ™‚ä¸) said the CECC has been holding discussions with public health experts and local government leaders regarding the alert, which was issued nationwide on May 19 and has since been extended twice.
The consensus is that "there should continue to be a consistent policy nationwide," Chen said, adding that a formal announcement on the subject will be made on Wednesday.
After averaging over 400 daily infections from mid-May through early June, daily case numbers dropped into the 200s from June 7 to 12, then into the 100s from June 13-20, and were in the double digits on both Monday and Tuesday.
The CECC has expressed caution about lifting the restrictions, however, given that only 6.76 percent of Taiwan's population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine shot as of Tuesday morning.
The 78 domestic cases on Tuesday included 43 in New Taipei and 25 in Taipei, which continue to be the "high-risk" zones of the current outbreak, while infections in other areas have become more "sporadic," Chen said.
Outside of those two cities, Nantou reported three new cases, while Keelung confirmed two, and Miaoli, Changhua, Taoyuan, Taichung and Hsinchu County each reported one.
Of the 10 cases outside of New Taipei and Taipei, only two had unknown sources of infection, the CECC said.
The one imported case was that of a Taiwanese man in his 50s, who tested positive after returning from Indonesia on Sunday, the CECC said.
Meanwhile, the six deaths reported Tuesday were three men and three women, in their 50s to their 80s, who passed away between June 17 and June 21.
The new cases brought the total in the country to 14,157, of which over 12,700 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.
To date, 575 people in Taiwan have died from COVID-19, including 563 since May 15.
A Level 3 alert is the second-highest in Taiwan's four-tier COVID-19 alert scale. Under the alert, schools have been closed and many companies have shifted to remote work or staggered working schedules.
People are also required to wear masks at all times when they leave their homes, and are banned from having indoor gatherings larger than four people and outdoor gatherings larger than nine people.
(By Chang Ming-huan, Chen Chieh-ling, Chiang Hui-chun and Matthew Mazzetta)
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|