COVID-19:Taiwan outbreak may be coming under control, says CECC



Taiwan’s worst outbreak of COVID-19 seemed to be easing, Central Epidemic Control Command (CECC) Chief, Chen Shih-chung, said on Monday.

Shih-chung attributed this development to the efforts of  local government authorities, medical workers and ordinary citizens.

Taiwan, with a population of 23.6 million, has a total of 8,551 Coronavirus infections and 124 fatalities, most of which were recorded in the current outbreak that began in early May.

CECC data showed that the confirmed cases had declined from a peak of 533 tallied on May 17, to 274 announced on Monday.

“In the past few days, we can see that the number of cases is declining, which is the result of everyone’s efforts,’’ Chen told reporters at the daily CECC news briefing.

Chen said the critical effective reproduction value, which show the number of persons that can be infected by an individual, peaked at 15 during May 13-15, but has now declined to 1.02.

Chen said the results showed that “the epidemic situation is progressing to a controllable scope’’.

Chen also defended the CECC’s decision to sign advance procurement contracts with two Taiwan pharmaceutical companies, Medigen Vaccine Company and United Biomedical Inc, for 10 million of doses of COVID-19 vaccine each,saying it is in line with international practice.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s parliament authorised over 15 billion U.S. dollars for COVID-19 related economic and social assistance funds on Monday for people and companies affected by the current outbreak, in which over 8,500 have been infected and 124 had died.

Officials said the number of people who would benefit, would exceed the 5.24 million who received cash payments of over 139 billion New Taiwan dollars last year.

The Cabinet is expected to finalise the new special budget June 3, allowing cash payments to be sent into bank accounts by Friday. . (dpa/NAN)