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Liberty Square main gate. (travel.taipei photo)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (Oct. 4) stated that the plan to open Taiwan's borders on Oct. 13 will go ahead as scheduled, despite a surge in COVID cases from the BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
During a Tuesday press conference, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-Hsiang (莊人祥) announced 49,509 cases. Chuang said that this was 3,901 cases more than the same day last week, representing an 8.6% increase.
Chuang said that cases this week have increased by 6.6% over the previous week. He said that this indicates that the local epidemic is still in the process of rising as it hits a plateau state.
This marked the second-highest single-day case count since the BA.5 outbreak began. The highest single-day case count for the outbreak caused by the subvariant was 49,540 on Sept. 14.
Previously, the CECC had forecast that the COVID cases would peak in late September. When asked if the surge in cases would affect plans to open Taiwan's borders next week, Chuang said that there had been a wave of cases after the Mid-Autumn Festival, and he suggested that as the loosening of border controls nears, people have started to lower their defenses.
He said that the extent to which people pay attention to avoiding crowded areas, maintaining social distancing, and wearing masks, will impact the number of infections. Chuang said that it is possible that cases could peak this week, but overall, the outbreak has reached a plateau.
Regarding the easing of border controls on Oct. 13, Chuang said there are no plans to make any changes.
On Sept. 29, the Ministry of Health and Welfare confirmed that effective Oct. 13, mandatory quarantine for inbound passengers will be discontinued under the new "0+7" system, the weekly arriving passenger quota will be raised to 150,000, borders will be opened to travelers from countries not granted visa-free treatment, and the tour group ban will be discontinued.
Updated : 2022-10-07 20:06 GMT+08:00
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