Taiwan suspends part of COVID contact tracing, adopts new screening model

Taipei, April 7 (CNA) Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Thursday that COVID-19 contact tracing has been partially suspended in Taiwan and a new pattern of screening diseases was being put in place, amid a rise in national cases.

The immediate suspension of contract research only applies to travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan, either upon arrival at the airport or during mandatory quarantine, Chen said.

The move was made to free up resources to monitor the growing number of national COVID-19 cases, he told a press briefing, after reporting 531 new cases, including 382 locally transmitted. and 149 imported.

Chen said contact tracing on new imported cases will only be done if any of them are suspected to be linked to COVID-19 clusters in quarantine hotels or quarantine centers in Taiwan. .

Prior to Thursday, Taiwan had reported its contact tracing information on imported COVID-19 cases through the World Health Organization‘s International Health Regulations (IHR) mechanism, he said.

Regarding the recent daily increase in domestic infections, Chen said the current goal is to bring the situation under control, even if it is impossible to reach zero new domestic cases at the moment.

Despite the recent spike, Taiwan’s daily national COVID-19 case count is still low compared to many other countries, he said, citing as an example the 534 new cases per 100,000 people reported Tuesday in Korea. from South.

Once Taiwanese pull together and do their part to prevent the spread of the virus, the situation will be manageable, Chen said.

Based on the trajectory of COVID-19 Omicron outbreaks seen in many other countries around the world, he said, it’s likely infections in Taiwan will peak in a month or two.

“We don’t expect the epidemic to stop growing now, but we hope it will increase slowly, so that Taiwan’s medical capacity is not overloaded,” Chen said.

Meanwhile, earlier today, the Cabinet announced that Taiwan is adopting a new model for controlling COVID-19 infections.

Under Taiwan’s “new model”, the country has dropped its goal of zero COVID-19 cases, but that doesn’t mean the pandemic should be left unmanaged, Cabinet spokesman Lo said. Ping-cheng (羅秉成), quoting Premier Su Tseng. -chang (蘇貞昌).

In an earlier meeting with officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), Prime Minister Su said that as Taiwan moves towards a new stage of epidemic prevention, he hopes that the Central and local governments will work together to gradually open up the country, in the interests of its people and its economy, according to Lo.

In a report presented to Cabinet on Thursday, the Health Ministry said Taiwan will continue to actively manage the COVID-19 situation, while gradually opening its borders, taking into account national economic factors and people’s livelihoods. .

(By Lai Yu-chen, Chiang Hui-chun, Chang Ming-hsuan, Chen Chieh-ling and Ko Lin)

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