CORONAVIRUS/No full lockdown planned for Taiwan right now: CECC
Taipei, May 30 (CNA) There are no immediate plans to impose a full lockdown in Taiwan, although some cities and counties have been carrying out computerized drills to prepare for such an eventuality, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.
Under the current national Level 3 alert, the rate of COVID-19 infections has slowed, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.
This indicates that the Level 3 disease prevention protocols, including mandatory mask-wearing and limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, are working, he said at a regular press briefing.
While the local governments' computerized preparatory lockdown exercises are commendable, it is more important that people strictly adhere to the Level 3 regulations at this point, Chen said.
He cautioned, however, that people should not let down their guard, as it is too early to determine whether the current COVID-19 outbreak is easing.
On the question of whether Taiwan should speed up its vaccine rollout in the absence of a full lockdown, Chen said it is impractical to count on vaccination to get rid of COVID-19 for good.
Disease control measures "can be considered successful if they prevent massive transmissions," he said, stressing the importance of people following personal protection guidelines.
Later in the day, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), a physician-turned-politician, said that while reducing physical contact between people remains a priority in the short term, the key to controlling the disease is to figure out how to vaccinate as many people as possible soon.
At a press conference, Ko said there was no need for a full lockdown at this stage, as the the number of confirmed domestic COVID-19 cases in Taiwan has started to fall because people have been voluntarily staying at home and adhering to the government's epidemic prevention regulations under a soft lockdown over the past two weeks.
The Taipei City government, however, is planning to introduce a new requirement soon for all members of a household to be tested for COVID-19 if one person comes down with the disease, he said, adding that there has been a recent increase in family clusters.
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