CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan COVID-19 News Briefs: June 14

Taiwan on Tuesday reported 66,189 new COVID-19 infections, taking the total number past 3 million, as well as 123 deaths from the disease, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

Here are some of the new developments regarding the COVID-19 situation around Taiwan on Tuesday:

2 die after ending COVID-19 isolation

The 123 deceased patients reported Tuesday ranged in age from their 40s to their 90s, and included six individuals in their 40s, two of whom passed away after being released from isolation, the CECC said.

Among the six, two had not received a COVID-19 vaccine and four had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, such as leukemia, chronic lung disease, stroke, and obesity plus gout, the CECC said.

With the 123 deaths recorded Tuesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in Taiwan rose to 4,388, according to the CECC.

Over 38,000 COVID cases reported in residential care facilities

From Jan. 1 to June 12 this year, a total of 38,392 COVID-19 infections were reported in 1,485 residential long-term care institutions around Taiwan, according to the CECC.

The reported COVID-19 cases included 30,420 residents and 7,972 workers in the institutions, according to the CECC.

Amid the current wave of domestic COVID-19 infections, 2,665 reported COVID-19 cases in such institutions developed into severe infections and resulted in hospitalization from April 1 to June 12.

From April 1-June 12, 616 deaths were reported, including 264 recorded from June 1-12, according to the CECC.

The rate of anti-viral drug administration among residents confirmed with COVID-19 has increased from 56 percent in April to 86 percent as of June 12, the CECC said.

Currently, COVID-19 patients in home quarantine are able to receive the antiviral medications Paxlovid and molnupiravir.

In addition, from mid-June to July 31, residential care institutions will be required to implement new testing measures, the CECC announced Monday.

Under the new rules, residents in such facilities will be required to undergo government-funded COVID-19 rapid tests twice a week, individuals aged 2-18 years old once a week and those under 2 will be exempted from testing.

Taiwan's 1st-dose vaccine coverage reaches 91 percent

As of Tuesday, 91 percent of Taiwan's population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CECC.

A total of 82.4 percent of the population has received at least two shots, and 69.2 percent have gotten a booster shot, CECC data showed.

Of all children aged 12-17 years old in Taiwan, 94.4 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 83.5 percent have gotten at least two doses, and 36.6 percent had received a booster shot, according the data.

Taiwan began offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 6-11 on May 2 and started the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 on May 25.

Of all children aged 5-11 years old in Taiwan, 73.5 percent had received one dose of the Pfizer-BNT or Moderna vaccine as of Tuesday, according to the CECC.

Taipei outlines new quarantine measures for arrivals

Taipei on Tuesday reminded quarantine hotels that arriving travelers have to stay in a hotel room for only three days before being allowed to leaving and observe four-days of self-initiated epidemic prevention at home as part of the government's reopening plans that come into effect Wednesday.

Starting Wednesday, Taiwan is set to shorten the quarantine period for arrivals from seven to three days, followed by four days of self-initiated epidemic prevention, the CECC announced last Saturday.

Under the new policy, the previous seven-day self-health management period following the end of quarantine will be replaced by a four-day period of self-initiated epidemic prevention.

During the self-initiated epidemic prevention period, people can go to work or buy necessities if they have obtained a negative rapid test result within the past 48 hours.

During that period, designated quarantine hotels cannot prohibit arriving travelers from going outside if they choose to undergo self-initiated epidemic prevention at the hotel, the city government noted.

? Taiwan to cut COVID-19 quarantine for arrivals to 3 days

Keelung offers COVID-19 vaccine incentives

Keelung City will offer a NT$100 voucher and four COVID-19 rapid tests to people aged 65 and older (or indigenous people aged 55 and older) who receive a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between June 20-24, Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (???) announced Tuesday.

The local government will also arrange shuttle buses and disease-prevention taxis to take seniors to a vaccination site if needed, Lin said at a statement.

Currently, 88 percent of people aged 65 and over have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, 81.4 percent have received at least two doses, and 67.2 percent had gotten a booster shot, according the statement.

Central, southern Taiwan need more anti-COVID resources

The COVID-19 situation in Tainan is still plateauing, Mayor Huang Wei-che (???) said as the city reported 6,288 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, bringing the total to 182,862 in the municipality, or 9.6 percent of the total population.

In such a situation, Huang called on the central government to prioritize central and southern Taiwan, where increasing cases have been reported recently, during the upcoming round of COVID-19 epidemic prevention materials allocations.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel