COVID-19 alert raised in Taiwan
More than a hundred cases have been reported for the fifth consecutive day. Hitherto, Taiwan was one of the countries that better handled the pandemic emergency. Now, the authorities are speeding up the vaccination campaign. The government will also not let the pandemic affect economic growth, and will do its utmost to sustain microchip exports.
Taipei (AsiaNews) – Taiwan raised its COVID-19 alert to Level 3 (on a 4-level scale) after more than a hundred coronavirus cases were reported for the fifth consecutive day.
Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has reported only 2,553 cases, making it one of the countries to better manage the health emergency so far. Today however, it recorded 275 new cases, for a total of 1,226 domestic cases since last Saturday.
The new alert level, which is not the highest, will remain in place until 28 May. It requires people to wear masks at all time when they leave home, and limits indoor gatherings to five people and outdoor gatherings to 10.
Until the sudden increase in infections, the authorities were struggling to convince people to get vaccinated. Now more are booking an appointment to get a shot.
To speed up the immunisation campaign, Taiwanese authorities ordered 400,000 doses of the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine, which is set to arrive today. This comes on top of approximately 320,000 doses currently available in the country.
As part of its vaccination campaign, the government of President Tsai Ing-wen has purchased 20 million doses from foreign pharmaceutical companies. At the end of July, a locally produced anti-COVID vaccine will also be available.
The worsening health situation has prompted the Ministry of National Development Council to lower GDP growth estimates, which might still top 5 per cent this year.
Yesterday, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin promised that the government will do its utmost to maintain microchip production and exports at adequate levels.
Taiwan is one of the world's leading microchip exporters. These parts are essential components for hi-tech products, but manufacturers are unable to meet the demand, leaving tech companies unable to face greater demand for their products.