Taipei mayor urges limit on number of citizens returning from abroad

Taiwanese returning from US should be placed in quarantine centers: Ko Wen-je

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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je interviewed by media March 30. 

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je interviewed by media March 30.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taiwan receives more and more imported cases of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Monday (March 30) that the central government should consider limiting the number of citizens that return from abroad.

Ko noted that most of the COVID-19 patients the island country received in the past week had recently come back from overseas, particularly from Europe and the U.S. He emphasized that the government needs to stop letting so many citizens return at the same time, as this has proven to be an incredible burden on frontline medical workers.

Ko pointed out that New York City is currently more dangerous than the Chinese city of Wuhan, and yet Taiwanese returning from that and other Western cities are not being placed in quarantine centers as those evacuated from Wuhan were. He urged the government to issue a stricter quarantine policy for all Taiwanese travelers to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, reported UDN.

The Taipei mayor stressed that there are currently more than 10,900 Taipei residents under quarantine and that the medical system will be overloaded if the government continues to let so many people in. He went on to propose a daily cap on the number of citizens allowed into the country so that local governments have time to prepare.

When asked for tips to keep from contracting the virus, Ko said people should still wear masks on public transportation and avoid visiting crowded areas. He also said he believes the upcoming week will be key if Taiwan is to contain community transmission of the virus, reported New Talk.