CORONAVIRUS/Border control easing depends on health system capacity: CECC

05/28/2022 06:47 PM
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A passenger arrives at Songshan Airport in Taipei in March. CNA file photo
A passenger arrives at Songshan Airport in Taipei in March. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) The relaxation of Taiwan's border controls will depend on the country's ability to maintain health system capacity, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Saturday.

Update: Taiwan to cut COVID-19 quarantine for arrivals to 3 days from June 15

With Taiwan experiencing a COVID-19 infection rate similar to that around the world, at around 6 percent, it will be reasonable to ease border controls given that the risk of contracting the disease in Taiwan or overseas is basically the same, Chen said.

The key is to make sure that the relaxation does not increase the burden on the country's hospital system since medical personnel are under pressure at the moment, he said during the CECC's daily press briefing.

Chen pointed out that there had been positive developments, such as that on Friday, people who had COVID-19 and were discharged from hospitals outnumbered those who were hospitalized for the first time during the ongoing surge of domestic COVID-19 cases. However, he did not specify a time frame so it is unclear whether he meant since April or just for May.

Chen said the CECC had held discussions with the Ministry of Economic Affairs on the easing of border controls and will soon involve the tourism sector for related talks, with details likely to be announced in June.

Given that countries around the world are reopening borders, Chen explained, it is important for Taiwan to consider similar measures in order to stay competitive economically.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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The figures do not include imported cases reclassified as domestic ones, nor retroactively removed cases. As of May 28, Taiwan recorded 1,788,230 domestic cases in 2022, while the total number of imported cases rose to 12,816 from 2,396 on Jan. 1.
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