Taiwan steps up border curbs to keep out Delta variant of Covid-19

Taiwan's seven cases of the Delta variant were all imported cases detected during quarantine.
Taiwan's seven cases of the Delta variant were all imported cases detected during quarantine.PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan will tighten border controls to keep out the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the authorities said on Friday (June 25).

It will require arrivals from five countries, including Britain, to be placed in centralised quarantine facilities.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said that starting from Sunday, entrants from Bangladesh, Britain, Indonesia, Israel and Peru would have to spend 14 days in government-run facilities.

People coming from Brazil and India already face such quarantine, while all others must quarantine at home or in hotels for 14 days.

Taiwan's seven cases of the Delta variant - first identified in India - were all imported cases detected during quarantine.

The island is battling a cluster of domestic infections, almost all of them due to the previously globally dominant Alpha variant - first detected in Britain - though numbers are steadying and the outbreak has been comparatively small.

Dr Chen announced 76 new domestic infections on Friday, down from 129 a day earlier.

Taiwan's tally of infections stands at 14,465 since the pandemic began, including 610 deaths.