Taiwan had been one of the few countries in the world that somehow managed to control the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus when it first broke out in full force with effective and prompt measures.
Unfortunately, that small victory over the virus could only last until now.
As of now, Taiwan’s daily COVID-19 cases have been spiking higher than our desires to travel to the land of bubble tea and good food, raking in an average of 300 new reported cases daily.
This brings the country’s total number of cases to over 11,000 currently, when they only had just 1,132 cases at the beginning of May.
Taiwan thus had no choice but to tighten their COVID-19 restrictions by a great deal, where it announced the strong need for mask-wearing and social distancing on 11 May.
Large gatherings were also to be restricted along with eating and drinking on trains until 8 June 2021.
Sounds just like our current Heightened Alert period, right?
Hopefully, Singapore won’t have to go through what this next phase brings about for them, though:
Taiwan Extends COVID-19 Restrictions
Regrettably, the new surge of outbreaks was too strong for Taiwan’s lowered guards to control in a matter of weeks.
From 8 June, they’ve now extended the restrictions for two more weeks, which are scheduled to lift on 28 June instead.
The government attributed their decision to the instability of the outbreak, where they saw 211 new local infections yesterday (7 June) and 343 the day before.
Schools will continue to remain shut until the summer vacation, with students continuing their education online.
Gatherings are still restricted and entertainment venues will remain closed, in what the country classifies as their second-highest alert level.
However, most were already expecting the restrictions to be extended.
Vaccination Programme To Begin
Despite the multitude of vaccines available now, it has been difficult for Taiwan to procure many supplies due to a global shortage and a long waiting list.
In this crisis, some countries have actually stepped forward to donate some of their vaccines to Taiwan as aid.
Premier Su Tseng-chang of the Cabinet announced in a meeting that Taiwan will now start distributing over 1.24 million AstroZeneca vaccines donated to them by Japan, with elders above 75 given priority.
Some 750,000 vaccine doses will also be donated to them by the United States.
Taiwan also aims to begin vaccination tomorrow with the first of 150,000 Moderna vaccine doses that recently arrived, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung shared at a news conference.
Currently, only 3% of the 23.5 million wide population have been vaccinated with at least one shot.
Here’s hoping we don’t get deja vu from seeing similar news in a week.
Featured Image: Wirestock Images / Shutterstock.com