Taiwan extends Covid health alert for two weeks

Beijing, Jun 7 (EFE).- Taiwan on Monday extended its Level 3 national health alert for another two weeks until June 28, since the Covid-19 outbreak that has hit the island has not yet shown any signs of improvement.

The national parliament said Monday in a statement that the measure, which involves the closure of public areas and non-essential commercial activities, seeks to curb the spread of Covid-19 as the island has recorded some 430 cases daily since May 15, while deaths have increased from 12 to 260 in less than a month, the official CNA news agency reported.

The authorities decreed alert Level 3 on May 19 until June 14, but for the moment they rule out raising it to level 4, the maximum, which would entail perimeter confinements.

On Sunday, the health authorities confirmed the detection of 343 new local cases, of which 335 were positive from previous days that had not yet been included in the official statistics, in addition to 36 deaths.

The most affected areas are the capital, Taipei, and the surrounding municipality, New Taipei, both located in the extreme north of the island, as well as Miaoli County, in the west, which on Sunday recorded 75 positives.

Taiwan has detected a total of 11,298 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, with 260 deaths.

It is one of the territories that had best managed the pandemic worldwide, in large part thanks to the imposition of restrictions on the arrival of citizens from abroad shortly after the first outbreak was declared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Last week the government doubled its budget for economic relief measures against the pandemic to TW$840 billion ($30.5 million).

In addition, Taiwan has requested 20 million vaccines from suppliers such as Moderna and AstraZeneca, and has also announced agreements with two local companies, Medigen and United Biomedical, to obtain another 10 million vials of their vaccines, still under development.

In addition, last week a batch with 1.24 million AstraZeneca doses arrived on the island from Japan.

China has criticized the Japanese offer of vaccines, which it has called a political tool, and has emphasized its attempts to supply Taiwan with doses, saying the island has “blocked” them.

The Taiwanese authorities have also accused the government of Beijing of blocking negotiations for the purchase of their vaccines due to political disagreements. Taipei has governed autonomously since 1949, but China claims its sovereignty. EFE


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