Tsai receives guests online for first time since COVID-19 onset

04/06/2020 09:40 PM
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image captured from president.gov.tw
image captured from president.gov.tw

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Monday met with a group of guests online instead of in person for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in line with new social distancing rules.

Tsai took part in a videoconference with 19 graduating students from Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute doing a semester in Taipei, during which she shared Taiwan's experience in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a statement issued by the Presidential Office.

Taiwan's president normally welcomes visiting guests at the office, but this was the first time the online format has been used since social distancing guidelines were issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on March 31.

Under the guidelines, people are advised to stay at least one meter apart outdoors and 1.5 meters apart indoors, and wear a face mask if they are unable to maintain a safe distance.

The CECC also recommended the cancellation of mass gatherings of more than 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan.

According to the Presidential Office, Tsai said during the videoconference that she was happy to see Taipei included as one of Minerva's destinations in Asia.

Tsai noted that the students were in Taipei "at a challenging moment" during the outbreak but said Taipei offers a "relatively safe and healthy environment" as Taiwan has a relatively low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

To date, Taiwan has 373 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Fifty-seven of its COVID-19 patients have been released from quarantine, while five have died.

According to the Presidential Office, Minerva is known for not having a physical campus and conducting its classes entirely online while using cities around the world as its classrooms.

Beginning in the second semester of their first year, students move to a new city each semester, a rotation consisting of San Francisco, Hyderabad, Seoul, Buenos Aires, Berlin, London and Taipei.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Joseph Yeh)

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