10 countries now listed as high risk for omicron
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has now added Malawi, Mozambique, Egypt, and Nigeria to its list of high-risk coronavirus countries amid concerns overa highly mutated omicron coronavirus variant.
All arrivals from those countries will now have to spend their 14-day mandatory quarantine at centralized government facilities.
The four countries join South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe, which were listed as 'high risk' this past weekend.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says those arriving in Taiwan from 1 December who have visited or transited through any of the 'high risk' African countries in the previous 14 days will be required to stay at central quarantine facilities.
Accommodation costs will be covered by the government.
However, it means that such travellers will be ineligible for the "7 7" or "10 4" quarantine plans during the 14 December through 14 February period designed for Lunar New Year inbound travellers who are fully vaccinated.
The movecomes after the World Health Organization has warned that the omicron coronavirus variant poses a high risk of infection surges around the globe.
According to the global health body, the variant could lead to severe consequences in some regions.
And WHO head Tedros Adhanom is stepping up calls for a global push to get vaccines to poorer nations.
The WHO says the omicron variant has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, "some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic."
Cases have already been reported in a number of countries including Canada, the UK, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.