Taiwan health minister warns of possible coronavirus explosion over next two weeks

Chen Shih-chung expects spike in Taiwan's coronavirus cases Wednesday and Thursday

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Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (left) reports at Legislative Yuan. 

Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (left) reports at Legislative Yuan.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) Head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Wednesday (March 18) warned that there will likely be an explosion of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Taiwan in the coming weeks.

While giving a report at the Legislative Yuan, Chen pointed out that the next two weeks are critical in determining how severe the situation in Taiwan will become. He said he expects a large increase in confirmed cases on Wednesday and Thursday (March 18 and 19) and that the Taiwanese government cannot afford to relax right now, reported Liberty Times.

Even though Taiwan saw a drop in domestic cases in March, the majority of its recent patients were found to have contracted the disease while traveling abroad. Chen confessed that the health authorities had not expected the number of cases to skyrocket in such a short period of time and that the government is weighing international travel bans.

Chen emphasized that it is important that Taiwanese comply with government policies and join together in the battle against the pandemic. He also urged the public to cancel or postpone gatherings and social activities over the next two weeks to ensure their own safety, reported ETtoday.