CORONAVIRUS/Electronic card users urged to register information online

05/16/2021 07:34 PM
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A screen displays a message that encourages people to register their electronic payment cards at Taipei Metro
A screen displays a message that encourages people to register their electronic payment cards at Taipei Metro's Zhongxiao Fuxing Station. CNA photo May 16, 2021

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Sunday urged people who use electronic cards when using public transportation to register their personal information online for better contact tracing for COVID-19.

Major smart card operators EasyCard, iPASS and icash all offer such a service, but their registration rate has remained low at around 30 percent currently, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said at a press briefing.

Chen encouraged those who have not registered online to do so as soon as possible because it would collect boarding and alighting information from bus, metro and train passengers, which would tighten disease control, particularly in the greater Taipei area.

A measure of having customers register their names and cellphone numbers is being implemented in most stores around Taiwan as a way for the health authorities to trace the movements of possible COVID-19 cases.

While such registration has still not been applied to mass transportation systems such as buses and the metro, the CECC came up with the idea of encouraging commuters to register their smart cards that are used for travel on public transport.

A recent surge of domestic COVID-19 infections in Taiwan has centered in the greater Taipei area, making contact tracing a challenge for health officials. On Sunday, of the 206 domestic cases reported, 97 were residents of New Taipei and 58 lived in Taipei.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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