CORONAVIRUS/Restrictions on large gatherings could soon be removed

05/26/2020 04:52 PM
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A night market in Yilan County (CNA file photo)
A night market in Yilan County (CNA file photo)

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Taiwan could lift restrictions on the number of people who gather in one place if there are no new domestically transmitted COVID-19 infections by June 7, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

No new cases by June 7 would mean 56 straight days without a domestically transmitted infection, or four times the disease's 14-day incubation period, which would justify lifting the restrictions, the CECC said in a statement.

However, people would still have to give their names and contact details at gatherings and events, practice good personal hygiene, such as washing their hands, and wear face masks if they cannot keep a safe distance from others or when using public transportation, the CECC said.

The announcement came as the CECC again confirmed no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the 44th consecutive day with no domestically transmitted infections.

The lack of cases reflects the relative safety of everyday life in Taiwan with regards to COVID-19, the statement said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in December 2019, Taiwan has recorded 441 confirmed cases of the infection, 350 of which have been classified as imported and 55 as local infections, according to CECC data.

The other 36 cases resulted from a cluster infection aboard a Navy vessel that returned April 9 from a goodwill mission in the Pacific Ocean that stopped in Palau from March 12 to 14.

Initial findings show that those people either caught the virus in Taiwan or on the Navy vessel while out at sea, CECC advisor Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said.

To date, 416 COVID-19 patients in Taiwan have recovered, seven have died and the remainder are still hospitalized, according to the CECC.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected 5,524,652 people in 187 countries and regions, including 1,689,852 in the United States, 363,211 in Brazil, 353,427 in Russia, 261,184 in the United Kingdom and 235,400 in Spain, with a total of 345,359 fatalities, according to CECC data as of Tuesday.

(By William Yen)

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