Pilots under pressure: keeping your job is a challenge for locals and foreigners alike

The Novotel hotel at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will no longer provide accommodation to foreign pilots after an outbreak of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said, Friday, April 30. Health and Welfare Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) director Chen Shih-chung said that the most likely source for the infection was a foreign pilot, and that foreign pilots have “divergent” behaviors, being less likely to follow instructions for epidemic prevention. Four of 10 CAL pilots who tested

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Poll indicates majority of Taiwan’s population unwilling to swap masks for vaccine

A majority of people in Taiwan would prefer to continue wearing masks over taking a vaccine for COVID-19 according to poll results on Yahoo News. Yahoo began conducting the poll after the Minister of Health, Chen Shih-chung said that mask mandates will be lifted after “vaccination rates reach a certain level.” The statement was made as a response to a question during a press conference, April 21, in which a Reuters report was quoted pointing out that Israel [somewhat] relaxed

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Less than one-third of Taiwan’s medical professionals willing to take Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Preliminary results from a survey of medical personnel working in hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients in Taiwan has revealed that less than 33% are willing to take the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said today, March 16. With results received from 90% of those asked to take the survey, 32.7% responded that they were willing to receive what many media agencies euphemistically refer to as “the jab.” “About 90 percent of medical personnel at those hospitals,

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Rumors afoot that Beijing is backing down on anal probes for COVID-19

Chinese language media outlets in Taiwan and other Chinese speaking communities outside of China are saying that people arriving in Beijing will no longer be subjected to anal probing for the “novel coronavirus” COVID-19, but there is no guarantee that foreigners will be exempt. Beijing authorities instigated anal swab testing in late January, ahead of the annual Lunar New Year Holidays. The Washington Post said at the time that “Some Chinese doctors say the science is there.” Fortunately, that meme

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Beijing adds anal swab tests to COVID arsenal, but citizens are not taking it lying down

Some Chinese citizens are avoiding going home for the Lunar New Year holidays after Beijing health authorities introduced anal swab tests for COVID-19. Citizens were quoted in various media reports including Apple Daily, as saying that they would prefer to miss the holidays rather than undergo what they consider to be an intrusive, insulting, and humiliating procedure. “Everyone involved will be so embarrassed,” one user wrote on Chinese social media site ­Weibo. A poll on Weibo showed that 80% of

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Taiwan develops mask with transparent windows to improve communication

Medical mask manufacturer Taiwan Champ Manufacturing will donate 20,000 newly-developed transparent masks to social welfare organizations, after a joint effort between government and private sector groups to develop a mask to improve communication with the people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and it may bring benefits to anyone who appreciates a smile. Hsieh Li-fang (謝莉芳), chairperson of the Dandelion Hearing and Language Association (DHLA), said that people with hearing impairments rely on visual cues, facial expressions, and lip

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“I don’t need therapy, I just need to go to Taiwan” a big hit in online sales, so legislator features his own mug

A series of products featuring the words “I don’t need therapy, I just need to go to Taiwan” has generated a viral level of sales on online shopping sites recently, so a Taiwanese legislator had a mug designed with the addition “Taiwan support frontline health heroes.” With much of the world gripped in fear, and locked down with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a design company in the United States launched a coffee mug featuring the words “I don’t

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Taipei City New Year’s Eve party to go ahead: Mayor says “Don’t be defeated by irrational fear”

While New Year’s Eve parties in most counties and cities around Taiwan will have been cancelled after a returnee from the UK tested positive with what the media has been touting as a ‘mutant’ strain of COVID-19, Taipei City’s New Year’s Eve party will go ahead, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) announced today, December 31. New Year’s events around the country were cancelled one by one yesterday, with a series of announcements from municipal governments, many of whom decided

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China claims 10.9 million COVID tests in Qingdao City all negative: Taiwan’s Health Minister says “impossible”

Chinese officials claimed yesterday that COVID-19 tests on 10.9 million people in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, had all returned negative results, but Taiwan’s Health Minister, Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), said today that such a result was impossible. Citywide tests for Qingdao City’s population of 11 million were ordered after a cluster infection of 13 people centered around a local hospital was discovered recently. The cluster was claimed to be China’s first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 in over two months. The

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Taiwan shows lowest economic impact due to COVID-19 among 38 countries analysed

An analysis of economic downturns in COVID-19 impacted countries showed that Taiwan had among the lowest death-rates, and showed the least economic impact among 38 countries for which the latest GDP figures were available. The analysis by Joe Hasell, published in Our World in Data, showed that Taiwan had suffered a GDP decline of only 0.6% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in the previous year. In comparing the death rates and economic downturns experienced,

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Health Minister explains problems of mass COVID screening as KMT Party threatens to undermine Taiwan’s anti-epidemic success

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung urged municipal-level government officials to follow the instructions of the National Health Command Center after some influential members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supported a bypass of the national government, and attempted to instigate general screening for COVID-19 at county and city level. Chen, who also serves as commander of the Central Epidemic Control Center (CECC) warned that local governments must follow the instructions of the national health authorities. The health minister

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