COVID-19: Taiwan will not restrict its population like China

Taiwan will not be “as cruel as China” in imposing containment measures, the island’s prime minister said on Sunday, despite rising cases of coronavirus contamination.

“We will not restrict the country and cities as cruelly as China,” Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporters ahead of a government meeting on pandemic prevention.

“Countries around the world have reopened to live with the virus. Taiwan (…) will keep moving towards (the possibility of normal life) and gradually enter a new phase of epidemic prevention,” said this politician of the ruling party that seeks independence for this territory. .

The island on Thursday registered more than 10,000 new cases for the first time since the pandemic began, as the government abandoned its “zero COVID-19” strategy and decided to live with the virus.

16,936 cases were registered on Sunday.

Taiwan maintained a low infection rate for the first two years of the pandemic thanks to border closures and strict quarantine rules.

A resurgence last year had, by the end of this wave, led to renewed implementation of social distancing measures that were costly to the economy.

Infections are now picking up again, but leaders have announced they will follow the example of other economies such as Singapore, Australia or New Zealand moving from a “zero COVID-19” strategy to zero COVID-19 acceptance have passed in cases are increasing.

With this policy shift in Taiwan, China remains the only major economy sticking to a draconian COVID-19 elimination strategy with painful lockdowns, even as the Omicron variant undermines those defenses.

According to the Taiwan Ministry of Health, 99.7% of the 89,990 cases recorded since Jan. 1 have had no or few symptoms.

The government has launched a new plan to reduce the home quarantine of contact cases to three days instead of 10 if an antigen test comes back negative at the end of the three-day period.

Almost 80% of the island’s population received two doses of vaccine and 58% received a booster dose.

Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has recorded 132,955 cases and 868 deaths in a population of nearly 24 million.

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