Taiwan extends Covid-19 curbs as situation ‘not yet stabilised’

TAIPEI:  Taiwan will extend its Covid-19 restrictions for another two weeks until June 28 and schools will remain shut until the summer vacation, the government said yesterday, adding that its outbreak has not yet stabilised.

There were 211 new local infections yesterday, down from 343 the day before. The drop could be because of a lower number of tests at the weekend.

The country is at its second-highest alert level, with gatherings restricted, entertainment venues shut and students shifted to online learning.

The Cabinet, in a statement after a meeting chaired by Premier Su Tseng-chang, said the situation was still worrying.

"At present, the pandemic has not yet stabilised," it said.

The extension of the restrictions had been widely expected.

Mr Su told the meeting that Taiwan would this week start distributing 1.24 million AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Japan. People with chronic diseases and those older than 75 would be given priority, he said.

At his daily news conference, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said the first of 150,000 doses received of the Moderna vaccine would also start being given tomorrow. Around 3 per cent of Taiwan's 23.5 million people have received at least one vaccine shot so far. - REUTERS