Taiwan raises COVID-19 alert level

·1-min read

Taiwan has raised its COVID-19 alert level for the whole island as domestic cases continued to rise, but will get 400,000 more AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX global sharing program.

Taiwan has reported more than 1000 new infections during the past week or so, leading to new curbs in the capital, Taipei, and shocking a population that had become accustomed to life carrying on almost normally.

Announcing another 267 local infections, up from 240 on Tuesday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said there was no need to order a full lockdown for now, and people should not worry too much.

"At present medical capacity is sufficient, so please don't worry," Chen added.

The new curbs for Taiwan restrict personal gatherings and close entertainment venues, steps already in effect in Taipei since the weekend.

In a boost for Taiwan's fight against the pandemic, Chen said more than 410,000 vaccine doses from COVAX would arrive Wednesday afternoon, which he described as "very valuable" and would be prioritised for front-line health care workers.

It has only received a little more than 300,000 doses to date, all from AstraZeneca. More than two-thirds of those have been distributed.

Taiwan has said it expected to get more than 1 million AstraZeneca shots via COVAX in total.

Taiwan has ordered 20 million doses, mostly from AstraZeneca but also from Moderna Inc, though global shortages have curtailed supplies.

Taiwan has reported 2533 cases since the pandemic began, including 14 deaths.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting