Why did Taiwan leave China

Corona outbreak alarms Taiwan - government is quickly raising the warning level

So far, Taiwan has gotten through the pandemic with almost no restrictions on public life. But after local contagions, the government quickly raised the warning level.

The corona virus has now caught the island of Taiwan. So far, life in Taiwan has been almost undisturbed, and in 2020 the economy even grew faster than that of China. But after a wave of local infections, the Central Disease Control Center (CECC) increased the corona warning in the capital Taipei and the neighboring city of New Taipei to the third of four levels.

This means that meetings of more than 10 people outside and 5 people inside closed rooms are prohibited until May 28th. People should refrain from traveling. In addition, masks have to be worn and amusement facilities such as cinemas, bars, saunas and gambling dens have to close at 4 p.m., even across the country. This is to prevent residents from the infection centers from driving to other cities to pass the time and spreading the virus.

The government also called on the population to refrain from buying hamsters and to follow official orders. "Personal responsibility is very important," said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung to the media on Sunday: Taiwan's past experience has shown that if everyone strictly adheres to the disease prevention rules, it will be effective.

Corona crisis: Taiwan records hamster purchases

But hamster purchases of toilet paper and masks underline how much the Covid-19 outbreak is alarming Taiwan. Taiwan was the first country to close its borders for travelers from China and activate prepared protective mechanisms, including monitored quarantine for travelers. With these measures, the health authorities quickly got the pandemic under control.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, only almost 1,700 Covid-19 cases have been found on the island with its 24 million inhabitants, and twelve people have died. 1079 cases were returnees from abroad who had brought the virus with them. But although entry has been extremely restricted, the pandemic is now suddenly spreading locally.

The latest wave began with a virus cluster among pilots of China Airlines cargo planes. A short time later, the first local infections were identified, which apparently had spread further than expected. After the number of cases had risen to double digits last week, they shot up over the weekend.

Corona mutation may be driving the new wave

On Sunday, the CECC reported 206 local infections. 85 percent of the cases are concentrated in the capital region, many are connected to a tea house.

To be on the safe side, the government now wants to offer around 50,000 illegal guest workers the opportunity to be tested without punishment or expulsion in order to prevent the number of cases from exploding. Because if more than 100 cases per day are found over 14 days, the CECC would declare warning level 4.

In this case, residents are only allowed to leave their apartments for shopping, work and other necessary occasions. Schools and companies would also have to switch to homeschooling and home office, as only services that are necessary for life would be maintained. In virus sources, entry and exit could even be controlled. This would hit the economy particularly hard. Because Taiwan, like most Asian countries, lags far behind the USA and Europe when it comes to vaccination.

Another problem is that the exact routes of infection of the latest wave are still unclear. The disease control center announced that the more contagious British virus mutation was rampant in some virus clusters. However, this does not rule out that the new waves in the capital region were not also triggered by other tribes.

The British variant, which also ensures more difficult courses, also drove Japan into a new corona emergency shortly before the Summer Olympics. The Tokyo city government is now crossing buses with large signs warning of the N501Y variant in order to make the population aware of the new dangers posed by the mutation. The virus is also spreading again in Singapore and Vietnam, which had previously suppressed the pandemic.