by Brian Hioe
Photo Credit: Howard61313/WikiCommons/CC
FOUR DOMESTIC CASES and three imported cases were announced at the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) daily press conference today. Two of these cases were already in quarantine, while three deaths were announced. There were two cases in Taipei, one case in New Taipei, and one case in Taoyuan. 89.7% of cases to date have been released from quarantine.
According to Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, the COVID-19 situation is stable currently. The CECC hopes for more detailed contact tracing to be undertaken, given the lower number of cases.
99,600 Moderna vaccines will arrive today at Taoyuan International Airport around 3:50 PM. This wave of vaccines will undergo quality control checks for one week before beginning to be used. The CECC is still planning how to distribute these doses of vaccines, but it is currently aiming to prioritize medical personnel involved in the fight against COVID-19 who have not yet been vaccinated. This also includes individuals such as workers involved in quality control inspections of COVID-19 vaccines. Because 99,600 vaccines is not a large number of vaccines, their distribution will be more specific.
Although fewer vaccinations took place yesterday, due to the typhoon, vaccination coverage is at 36.96% currently. Per 100 people, vaccination is around 38%.
There were some delays in vaccinations originally scheduled to take place as part of the fourth round of vaccination, again, as an effect of the typhoon. These vaccinations will be moved to the fifth round of vaccination. Though the fifth round of vaccination is mostly Moderna, these vaccinations will still be AstraZeneca vaccinations.
There are around 300,000 AstraZeneca vaccines left, though few Moderna vaccines remain. Allowing ages 53 and 54 in category nine to register for vaccination for this round of vaccination has brought the percentage of registration for those eligible to 81%. There are some delays in reporting the exact numbers of AstraZeneca doses left, due to the typhoon.
Careful use of Moderna during vaccination may add 1% to the supply of Moderna, but 3.9 million are still only willing to be vaccinated with Moderna. Taiwan has enough supply of Moderna from vaccine purchases, but it is not clear when they will arrive.
Some adjustments regarding measures for vending machines have been announced, following coordination with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Now, it is sufficient for vending machines to be regularly disinfected, there is no need for a special staff member to monitor the vending machine.
Results are still forthcoming from trials of mixed vaccinations.
When asked about plans by Singapore to deal with COVID-19 as a long-term issue, Chen stated that each country has its measures to deal with COVID-19, based on local conditions. When asked about predictions of a high rate of death in Asia, Chen stated that relevant authorities were investigating this, though he was not an expert, due to originally being a dentist.
A vendor on Hulin Street that had five negative tests before later being testing positive for COVID-19 has had their contacts listed and quarantined. This person is thought to have become infected from a friend in New Taipei, though transmissibility is believed to be low.
Information on the imported cases from today (left), and further data released by the CECC (right). Photo credit: Ministry of Health and Welfare/Facebook
According to New Taipei mayor Hou You-yi, the one case in New Taipei today was already under quarantine. This is the third time since the start of the outbreak that New Taipei has reported no cases outside of quarantine. This individual became infected with COVID-19 through a friend and co-worker in Taipei. 403 are currently under quarantine in New Taipei, with twelve released from quarantine today. Fifteen contacts were listed and quarantined in connection to the case today.
2,137 tests at neighborhood testing stations found no new cases today. 1/3rd of restaurants in New Taipei have voluntarily limited themselves to half capacity. Otherwise, Hou expressed concerns about gatherings because of Father’s Day today, as well as crowds in Shifen and Bitan, with parking capacity at 30% in both locations. Consequently, Hou urged individuals not to travel there.