CECC mulls raising cap on arrivals
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says it is currently reviewing the possibility of raising the cap on arrivals sometime in the next few months. The statement comes after former vice president Chen Chien-jen said many countries started opening their borders a month or so after local COVID cases peaked so it's possible that Taiwan could do the same in the next two months, as the number of local cases is declining.
CECC spokesperson Zhuang Ren-xiang says that although the number of daily domestic cases is decreasing, the government will continue to monitor the spread of the virus, as the pandemic situation differs by country.
The current arrivals cap is set at 25,000 arrivals per week. It was introduced on 15 June as part of the government's plans to gradually reopen Taiwan's borders. The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers.
However, Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang party (KMT) has joined airlines and travel agents this week in calling on the government to raise the cap, arguing that it's inadequate to meet growing international travel demand. There have also been calls to exclude Taiwanese nationals from the cap.
This comes as the CECC reported 48,356 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, of which the majority, 48,283, were domestic infections. Taichung was once again reporting the highest number of cases, with 7,001. That was followed by Kaohsiung with 6,722, and New Taipei with 6,296 cases.
Health officials say 174 previously reported cases have now been listed as severe, while 241 others have now developed moderate symptoms of the disease. 166 new deaths are being reported. The deceased ranged in age from their 30s to their 90s. They included 150 individuals who had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, and 118 who were unvaccinated. That brings the number of coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began here in Taiwan to 5,817.