Taiwan premier rebuts British woman’s claim that daughter was mistreated in quarantine

British visitor, partner had complained about conditions in government-arranged lodging, stirring controversy

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Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang 

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) dismissed accusations by a British national that the country’s quarantine conditions are “prison-like.”

Su said Friday (March 27) before attending a legislative interpellation session that the allegations made by the British woman were unfounded and untrue. Taiwan has endeavored to ensure that everyone who requires quarantine arrangements is fairly treated, including foreign nationals, reported CNA.

A new rule requires travelers who have been in Europe as far back as March 5 to undergo a 14-day quarantine in Taiwan.

Citing a “quarantine diary” written by a Japanese journalist from The Asahi Shimbun, the premier said Taiwan has tried its best to implement the soundest measure possible when it comes to its isolation policy. He also urged Taiwanese residents subject to quarantine to observe the rules and refrain from engaging in activities that hinder disease prevention efforts or add to society's burdens.

The BBC on Thursday (March 26) carried a story in which a British woman claimed her daughter, Natalie Dawson, was "incarcerated," mistreated, and separated from her Australian partner upon their stopover in Taiwan on their way to Australia. The allegations triggered an outcry among the Taiwanese public, who defended their government’s help in providing accommodation for the cash-strapped couple and said the conditions of the quarantine in no way resembled a prison.

Expressing regret that such a story was written, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebutted the accusations, reported Storm Media. The BBC has since retracted the report.