CECC strengthens vaccination rules and testing as Covid cases surge
Health authorities have strengthened vaccination rules as the Covid-19 caseload spiked in recent days.
Health Minister Chen Shi-chung announces today that medical personnel, epidemic-prevention taxi drivers and funeral industry workers need to present proof of having received booster shots starting from 22 April.
In addition, all those in the first, second and third categories of government-sponsored coronavirus vaccination rollout will have to meet the same requirement.
People in those categories are mainly government workers, customs officials, coast guards, village chiefs, and rescuers, among others.
Chen says employees at another 24 kinds of venues, which include gyms, bars, night clubs, swimming pools, hair salons and long-term healthcare facilities, will need to get the third coronavirus jabs as well by next Friday.
Currently some 54% of the population have done it.
In addition, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says it's stepping-up coronavirus testing capacities by sending rapid antigen test kits to four of the six high-risk areas where new domestic infections have risen sharply recently.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says 100,000 kits have each now been delivered to Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Hualien.
Chen says local governments will be using the kits to monitor high-risk communities by offering free tests.
However, the health minister has yet to explain plans for increased testing in Keelung and Kaohsiung, which have also been designated as high-risk areas.
The government is planning to launch an identity-based rationing plan for people who wish to purchase test kits to prevent stockpiling.
While officials are also saying that the price of coronavirus test kits will also be cut to make them more affordable.
This comes as the CECC reported 1,210 new domestic Covid-19 cases on Sunday.
It was the third consecutive day that new local cases have exceeded the daily record.
The CECC says seven of the new cases are moderate to severe infections - and such infections now stand at 46 so far this year.
Public health officials say a majority of domestic cases reported since late March have been mild or asymptomatic infections and just over half a percent of the cases reported between 1 January and 16 April have been moderate or severe.
Of the 1,210 new domestic cases, New Taipei had the highest number, at 410. That was followed by Taipei with 201, Taoyuan with 180, and Hualien County with 119 cases.
The CECC also reported 93 new imported cases and no new deaths.