Taiwan's Covid-19 situation may turn around from Friday: Health minister

TAIPEI – Taiwan, currently experiencing its worst Covid-19 outbreak, could see a turnaround in the situation from Friday (June 10), Health Minister Chen Shih-chung has said.

The island has been recording over 50,000 new local cases daily since May 10, after locally transmitted clusters broke out in early April.

However, the surge has been showing signs of gradually slowing down since June 1. The number of daily domestic cases dropped from 88,247 last Wednesday to 52,992 on Monday. The number of deaths went down from Sunday’s 276 to 151 on Monday.

Mr Chen said “new cases and deaths are still in a plateau phase”, with case numbers declining in the north but rising in the south.

“But we predict that the situation will begin improving (islandwide) starting June 10,” said the minister, pointing out that over 90 per cent of the population have received at least one vaccination shot.

Some 82 per cent have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly 66.5 per cent have had their booster shots as well.

As Taiwan steps up its efforts to coexist with Covid-19 and boost its vaccination rate, the health authorities said on Monday that over 60 per cent of children between the ages of five and 11 had received their first dose.

The government began allowing children’s vaccination on May 2.

“Taiwan’s vaccination rate in children is considerably higher when compared to countries especially in Europe and the United States, where only about 30 per cent of children are vaccinated,” said Mr Chen.

Meantime, the Central Epidemic Command Centre has come under fire for its suggestion that those who have died from Covid-19 are to be cremated soon after their coffins arrive at a mortuary.

This has sparked a fierce debate in Taiwan on whether the act is necessary as it will leave families no time to mourn and bid their loved ones goodbye.

Mr Chen said on Sunday that there are no regulations stipulating that confirmed Covid-19 patients be cremated within 24 hours of their death, but funeral homes have been carrying out cremations as soon as bodies arrive due to their concerns about the severity of the outbreak.

In Taiwan, Covid-19-related deaths must be reported to the health authorities within 24 hours, and the bodies can either be cremated or, if permission is obtained from the local authorities, be given a deep burial, the minister explained.

As at Monday, Taiwan has recorded 2,457,881 confirmed cases, with almost all being domestic cases, and a total of 3,090 Covid-19-related deaths.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.