Level 2 alert extended
Health officials say they will extend the current Level 2 Covid alert now in place across the island. The alert level is expected to remain in force until 7 February.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has not adjusted the mask mandate now in
force, which requires people to wear masks when they are outside their homes, unless they are eating or are in outdoor spaces with few people such as forests and fields.
Tightened rules on religious gatherings, as well as a ban on eating on public transport also remain in place.
The CECC first raised the Covid-19 alert to Level 2 in May of last year, after it began seeing domestic cases with unknown origins.
The alert level was raised to Level 3 on 19 May 2021 but dropped back to Level 2 on 27 July of last year.
This comes as health officials reported 15 domestic and 36 imported cases of Covid-19 yesterday, which was lower than the day before when Taiwan confirmed 130 new cases, 82 domestic and 48 imported cases.
In its latest tally, the CECC said eight of the domestic cases could be traced to Kaohsiung Harbour, four hotel employees in Yilan County, and three to the larger outbreak in Taoyuan.
Seven of the new cases were fully vaccinated and were classified as breakthroughs; one other had received just one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, while the rest are under investigation.
In addition to the domestic cases, Taiwan also reported 36 imported cases on Monday, 23 of which involved passengers who tested positive upon arrival in Taiwan on Sunday.
Owing to the rise in domestic cases, the CECC says it has banned hospital visits, unless it involves an emergency-- although patients are allowed to have one person accompany them during their stay.
The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs have announced several measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, including a ban on eating and drinking on public transport that took effect on Sunday, as well as tightened rules regarding religious events and places of worship.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed 18,238 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020, of which 14,853 were domestic infections.
With no deaths reported on Friday, the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths in the country remained at 851.