CECC mulling easing border controls
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says the government is currently formulating a policy aimed at re-opening the island's borders to business travellers. According to Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, discussions with the Ministry of Economic Affairs are currently underway and a final decision regarding border openings for business travellers will be announced soon.
Chen says the policy is being formulated on the basis that coronavirus infection rates here in Taiwan have increased to about 6%, which is roughly the same as the rates being detected among inbound travellers, and stopping the virus at the border is no longer a main priority.
However, the health minister says there remains concern that opening borders as early as next month could result in undue strain on the island's healthcare capacity, as medical personnel are still facing pressures due to the local outbreak.
The move comes as many business groups are calling for the government to reopen borders - arguing the continued closure is resulting in Taiwan losing out on international investment and business opportunities.
This comes as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported 76,605 new Covid cases on Sunday. Of that number, only 66 were imported cases and the rest were domestic infections.
New Taipei was still reporting the highest number of local cases, with 14,848. That was followed by Kaohsiung with 9,563, Taoyuan 9,379 and Taichung with 8,959 cases. Taipei reported 7,402 cases.
The CECC says 168 previously-reported cases had developed into severe infections, while 210 patients had developed moderate symptoms. The newly reported severe cases include a one-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy, both of whom developed encephalitis but are now in stable condition.
The CECC also reported 145 new coronavirus related deaths from patients ranging in age from their 30s to 90s. A total of 136 of them had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases. 95 of the new deaths were among people aged 80 and over, while 70 were people who had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Of the 1,788,230 domestic cases recorded in Taiwan this year, 1,454 have been classified as severe infections and 3,363 as moderate, accounting for 0.08 percent and 0.19 percent of the total, respectively, according to CECC data valid as of 29 May. In all other cases, the patients were either asymptomatic or had mild infections, the CECC said.