667 new Covid-19 cases
By ECCT staff writers and Courtesy of ICRT
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reported 667 domestic Covid-19 cases today, four imported cases and 13 deaths in its daily press conference today. Of the domestic cases, 401 were newly confirmed cases and 266 were from a backlog of test results confirmed over the last several days, the CECC said.
The new cases bring the total number in the country to 6,761 since the outbreak began early in 2020, of which over 5,000 are domestic cases reported since 15 May.
The 13 fatalities reported on Thursday were nine men and four women aged from their 40s through their 90s, who died between 24 and 26 May. To date, 59 people have died of Covid-19 in Taiwan, including 47 since 15 May.
Since last Saturday, the CECC has retroactively added 1,648 domestic cases to its daily case counts going back to 14 May, around the time that the number of new cases began rising sharply.
At its national press conference this morning, the CECC said officials in districts with high infection rates are moving to set up more quarantine and isolation facilities, as hundreds of Covid-19 cases continue to be confirmed each day.
The centre says officials are also finding ways to speed up the process of confirming infections, and transporting patients to and from the hospital or quarantine facilities in a safe manner.
And new standards have been set, effective immediately, for leaving quarantine, and moving to isolation or self-health management, in order to make more hospital beds available for new patients.
In addition, the CECC says the first wave of vaccinations will begin today, with 150,000 jabs distributed to cities and counties.
Those in category 1 to 3 in Taipei and New Taipei, including frontline medical personnel and emergency responders who have not had a first dose will be first priority.
Other areas outside of the two northern infection hotspots will receive vaccines for people in category 1.
And the next round of vaccinations will begin on 10 June, when 260,000 doses will be available to those who have not received their first dose.
The CECC says more campaigns will be announced as more vaccines arrive in June and August.
In related news, health minister Chen Shih-chung says authorities will be able to fine people for not wearing face masks in public without giving a verbal warning beforehand.
According to Chen, that ruling will be rigidly enforced under the current state of coronavirus alert.
Previously, local governments had only been asked to impose fines when people refused to comply with the face mask rule.
However, while fines are set at between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000 islandwide, local governments have been adopting different standards for enforcing the rule.