Taiwan to extend strict coronavirus control measures

People will have to continue wearing face masks at public venues. PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI (XINHUA, BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Taiwan will continue to impose strict epidemic control measures from March 1 as the Covid-19 pandemic remains severe across the world.

Besides requiring a negative Covid-19 test result within three days when boarding a flight to Taiwan, passengers will be quarantined for 14 days at either a quarantine hotel room, designated quarantine centre or at a private home where only the person on quarantine lives, the local epidemic monitoring agency said at a media briefing on Monday (Feb 22).

People will have to continue wearing face masks at public venues such as hospitals, schools, exhibition halls and aboard public transports, the agency said.

The set of epidemic control measures has taken effect since Dec 1 last year in the light of the surging Covid-19 pandemic in winter and was scheduled to end on Feb 28.

However, the agency said the ban of drinking and eating on high-speed trains in Taiwan will be lifted from March 1.

Taiwan has kept the pandemic well under control thanks to early and effective prevention, with the large majority of its infections being imported cases.

But after more than 250 days without a single locally-transmitted coronavirus infection, Taiwan reported its first case since April on Dec 22, ending what was the world's longest virus-free streak.

The case was in a woman who came into contact with an airline pilot who had arrived from the United States.

In January, a small domestic cluster connected to a hospital in the northern city of Taoyuan broke out, resulting in more than 5,000 people ordered to quarantine at home.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Taiwan stood at 942 as of Monday, with nine deaths, according to the agency.

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