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Military conscripts to receive mandatory COVID-19 test: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

09/02/2021 06:14 PM

Taipei, Sept. 2 (CNA) Military conscripts will have to take a COVID-19 test before reporting for duty, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Thursday.

In Taiwan, after the age of 18 men have to undergo four months of mandatory military training. No new conscripts have been enrolled since June, however, after the country saw a surge in domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases in May.

As daily case counts have since fallen to single-digit numbers, new conscripts will begin reporting for duty again in September, Deputy Interior Minister Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), who is also deputy CECC head, said at a press briefing Thursday.

To prevent the possible spread of COVID-19, new conscripts will be required to take an antibody COVID-19 test within the three days prior to the start of their training, Chen said.

They can get tested free of charge by bringing their conscription notice and National Health Insurance card to a designated testing site or hospital approved by the CECC, Chen said.

The conscripts will have to show proof of a negative test result before they can begin their training, he said.

Meanwhile, substitute service conscripts will all receive COVID-19 tests after arriving at the Chenggongling military base, he said.

A Presidential Office spokesperson said on Aug. 24 that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had instructed the Ministry of National Defense and the CECC to come up with a vaccine rollout plan for new conscripts, though no further details have been announced.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chiang Hui-chun, Chen Chun-hua and Chiang Yi-ching)


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