New control measures after Covid-19 surge
Courtesy of ICRT
The Taiwan government has rolled out a slew of coronavirus control measures for medical institutions due to the surge in domestic infections.
The moves include lowering hospital outpatient intake and ordering patients to have a test for the virus before being hospitalized.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has ordered hospitals to reduce their outpatient intake by deferring outpatient services that are deemed not imminent, such as health checks and cosmetic surgery.
According to CECC advisor Chang Shang-chun, the measures are aimed at ensuring adequate medical capacity as Taiwan has entered the community transmission stage.
Medical institutions have also been ordered to strengthen community-based case monitoring, reporting and testing procedures.
Patients will be required to take a coronavirus test and stay at home to wait for their test results before they can be admitted unless their symptoms are severe enough to warrant immediate hospital treatment.
While healthcare workers are now being placed on enhanced health monitoring, such as daily temperature checks, those experiencing suspected symptoms should immediately report their cases and receive testing for the virus.
On Sunday the CECC reported 206 new domestic coronavirus cases - making it the highest number ever recorded in a single day here in Taiwan since the pandemic began.
Health officials say the new domestic cases are 90 males and 116 females, ranging from under 5 years of age to over 80 years old.
New Taipei reported the most cases, with 97, around a third of which involved residents of the city's Banqiao District.
Taipei had the second most cases, with 89, of which 58 were reported in the Wanhua District.
Elsewhere, Hsinchu County reported three cases, while Keelung and Taoyuan each reported two.
In central Taiwan, Changhua County reported nine cases and Taichung reported one.
While Yilan County reported three cases.
According to the CECC, of the newly confirmed domestic cases, 105 were linked to hostess teahouses in Taipei's Wanhua District and 44 involve people who had recently been to Wanhua.
Five others were part of a cluster involving a local Lions Club International organisation based in New Taipei, three were linked to arcades in Yilan County, and one was related to a religious tour in southern Taiwan.
While the origins of the remaining 48 cases are still being investigated and contact tracing is ongoing.
In related news, the Central Epidemic Command Center says people with only mild coronavirus symptoms in the greater Taipei area should stay at home instead of seeking medical attention at hospitals, due to limited numbers of isolation wards.
According to Deputy Health Minister Shih Chung-liang, there are currently only 2,400 negative-pressure isolation wards nationwide.
Taipei currently only has 51 available wards and there are 158 in New Taipei.
The deputy health minister says people who wish to receive a coronavirus test can visit rapid screening stations in Taipei's Wanhua District.
And if they have no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms, they are advised to stay at home to conduct self-isolation and wait to be contacted by health authorities, even if they test positive for the virus.
CECC physician Chen Wan-ching, says most coronavirus patients experience relatively mild symptoms and will recover with proper rest at home.
However, those at home should stay in a separate room from other family members, wear a mask and maintain social distancing with others.