Premier backs "3 + 4" proposal to shorten quarantine
Cabinet spokesman Luo Bing-cheng says Premier Su Tseng-chang has agreed in principle to support a "3 4" proposal to shorten the home isolation period for close contacts of those who tested positive for Covid.
The statement follows reports that Su backs a proposal requiring people identified as contacts of positive patients to isolate at home for three days. They will then be asked to take a Covid rapid test on the fourth day and can leave isolation if the results are negative. But they will still be unable to eat in restaurants or attending large-scale events for an additional four days.
However, Luo says the policy will have to be coordinated with local governments before it can be implemented. CECC spokesman Zhuang Ren-xiang says officials will be meeting later today discuss the issue with local government officials and health authorities.
An estimated 79,000 people are currently in home isolation islandwide.
In related news, Health Minister Chen Shih-chun says the government will be launching aname-based rationing scheme for coronavirus rapid antigen tests early next month.According to Chen, the government would initially release around 50 million rapid tests in packs of five, or enough for 10-million people.
The move comes as demand for at-home test kits due to the rise in domestic cases has outweighed supplies, despite a government requisitioning programme launched on 14 April which aims to secure 40 million tests per month.The health minister says the government is in the process of releasing 1.235 million rapid tests onto the market, in a bid to increase their availability before the rationing programme begins.
This comes as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported another record high total of 5,172 new Covid cases on Sunday.New Taipei continues to report the highest number of new domestic cases with 1,731. That's followed by Taoyuan with 1,071, Taipei with 1,027 and Keelung with 301 cases.Ten of the new cases have been classified as moderate infections and one has been listed as a severe infection.
The CECC says of the more than 26 thousand domestic cases recorded so far this year, 88 have been classified as moderate infections and eight as severe, accounting for less than half a percent of the total number of cases. All of the other cases have displayed either mild symptoms or have been asymptomatic.
Meanwhile, eighty new imported cases were reported, 72 were travellers who tested positive on arrival. No new deaths were reported.