More event cancellations in Taiwan after rare COVID outbreak | News on the coronavirus pandemic


The island is poised to spread after a cluster of cases appeared at Taoyuan Hospital.

Taiwan has canceled or postponed larger-scale events after a rare outbreak of nationally transmitted COVID-19 cases linked to a hospital, where the military was sent to help with disinfection.

Taiwan, which has kept the pandemic under control through early and effective prevention methods, has been rocked by new national transmissions, first in December and now in a hospital in northern Taoyuan City.

Until December, the island had not reported any locally acquired cases since April; all cases reported during this period were imported, which represents the vast majority of the 868 infections in Taiwan.

After the government decision on Tuesday to cancel major celebrations for the Taiwan Lantern Festival, an annual celebration to mark the Lunar New Year next month, other cities followed suit, including Kaohsiung and Taipei.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je told reporters on Wednesday that the city is postponing the city’s lantern festival events and canceling the usual Lunar New Year street market in the fashionable Dihua Street district.

People walk by the river in Taipei. First proactive measures helped keep COVID-19 at bay in Taiwan [Ann Wang/Reuters]

The presidential office said on Tuesday evening that it would not host its Lunar New Year reception and would coordinate with health officials if President Tsai Ing-wen could visit the temples during the holidays, as she normally would.

The government has quarantined and tested hundreds of people linked to the outbreak at Taoyuan Hospital, attributed to an infected doctor while treating a COVID-19 patient.



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