Taiwan further tightens curbs as Covid-19 cases continue to rise

Members of Taiwan's military, tasked to spray disinfectant at train stations, on a train in Taipei on Tuesday.
Members of Taiwan's military, tasked to spray disinfectant at train stations, on a train in Taipei on Tuesday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan further tightened curbs on Wednesday (May 26) to control Covid-19 cases, including banning in-restaurant dining, as it reported another rise in infections.

After months of relative safety with the pandemic well under control, Taiwan has been experiencing an increase in domestic cases, and is at its second-highest alert level, restricting gatherings and shutting down entertainment venues.

Announcing 633 new domestic cases including 11 deaths, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said that although the peak in cases was May 17, and there was no dramatic worsening, it was too early to say whether the situation was getting better.

"Are things improving? That needs watching," he told a daily news conference.

Dr Chen said restrictions would be tightened, with restaurants only allowed to offer takeaway, fines for people not wearing face masks outside, and a halt to wedding banquets and wakes.

People should limit the amount of time outside, he added.

"Go out less and buy more," Dr Chen said.

Taiwan has reported a total of 6,091 infections since the pandemic began, including 46 deaths.

Most of those infected in the current wave have had either no or mild symptoms, according to the government.